Mole Chicken.

Or Chicken Mole. No, this is not a recipe for cooking small burrowing creatures. Mole, in this context, is a Mexican word meaning sauce. It derives from the native Nahuatl word ‘molli’ – which means sauce, or mixture – and is a whole style of cuisine in its own right. There are literally thousands of mole recipes, many of them very complex, often with fifteen or more ingredients, but all contain chilli peppers. This one also contains, unusually, chocolate [derived another Nahuatl word, ‘chocolatl’] and is quite distinctive. As always, the amount of chilli used is optional.

Ingredients.

¼ cup olive oil.

1 onion, peeled and chopped.

1 capsicum, seeded and diced.

1 green chilli, seeded and diced.

3 cloves garlic, chopped.

1 tablespoon ground cumin.

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Salt to taste.

1 400g can tomatoes.

¼ cup sultanas.

1 cup beer.

2 tablespoons peanut butter.

2 tablespoons olive oil.

300g lean chicken meat, diced.

2 tablespoons grated cooking chocolate.

Coriander greens to garnish.

Method.

Heat the ¼ cup of oil in a sauté pan over a hot flame. Add the onion, capsicum and garlic and stir fry until beginning to caramelise. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon and salt, cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes, sultanas, beer and the peanut butter. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat and zap with a kitchen whizz to a thick paste. The above will yield about 600ml, of which you will need half. Place the other half in a sealed container and store in the freezer – it will remain good for a long time.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over a hot flame and sauté the meat until sealed. Add the remaining tomato mixture, bring to the boil and add the chocolate. Stir well to incorporate and simmer for 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked right through. Serve garnished with chopped coriander greens.

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