Chicken enchiladas with mole negro

Seems like the ManBeast and I may be coming down with something. I’ve been fighting some sort of chest/sinus ick since the week before Halloween, but the post nasal drip has kicked it up a notch and my body is just feeling tired. Not good.
I also didn’t realize that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. I’ve got about 12 people coming over and this means I need to put together a plan and reserve my turkey already. And start harassing the people who have only told me ‘maybe’ so far.

So, chicken enchiladas with mole negro. This recipe isn’t hard, as some sites would have you believe. There is nothing complicated about it. But it is long and time consuming and you need to have PATIENCE. This is not a work night recipe. Save it for a day when you have the afternoon and evening free and no one pestering you about when dinner will be ready.

I have mixed feelings on how to write this. I don’t think my normal style will work for this recipe, so I’ll attempt the usual recipe set up. Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you. None are anything exotic and most you should be able to find at an average well stocked grocery store (Woodman’s has all the ingredients if you’re in the Madison area). There are a few things I’ll do different next time I make this. Namely, now that I know Woodman’s has all the odd peppers that more traditional recipes call for, my next try will likely be one of the more traditional recipes with an even longer ingredient list. That said, it probably won’t happen for quite some time as this recipe gave me enough sauce to freeze down for another batch of enchiladas (yes, mole negro freezes well).

Chicken enchiladas with mole negro
I highly suggest cooking mise en place for this, it will help your sanity.

2 c plus chopped onion (this was one large onion for me)
3 T oil
1/4 t coriander
3 T chili powder
2 t sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
1.5 T canned chopped chipotles (probably leave this out next time)
2 T cocoa powder
2 T peanut butter
3 c chicken broth
1.5 c stewed tomatoes
2 T raisins
4 cloves garlic mashed in 3/4 t salt
3 T honey
1 roasted, deseeded, chopped poblano pepper
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
salt
pepper
garlic powder
bacon fat for cooking
10 corn tortillas
shredded monterey jack cheese

Making the mole negro
1. Roast your poblano pepper. You can roast it under the broiler. Or hold it right in the flame of the burner on a gas stove until almost the entire thing is blistered, rotating often so you don’t burn it and/or set it on fire. Put it in a container with a lid (or a paper bag if you have one). Let it sit for a while.
2. Saute chopped onion until it is a deep gold brown, you want it slightly caramelized.
3. Add chili powder, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and chipotle.
4. Cook, stirring, for one minute.
5. Add cocoa powder, peanut butter, chicken broth, tomatoes, raisins, garlic with salt, honey, and chocolate. Stir well.
6. Simmer it for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
7. Puree.
-If you have an immersion blender, this is the prime opportunity to use it.
-If you have a regular blender, blend in small batches being very careful to not explode hot mole negro out the top of the blender. I highly suggest putting a dish towel over the top each time you start up the blender. Don’t believe me? Next time you see my mom, check out the scars she has on the inner section of her left upper arm. I remember very clearly helping her change the bandages on her second and third degree burns for weeks after the leek soup she was making exploded out of the blender.
8. If you think the mole negro is too watery, simmer it down to whatever consistency you like. Mine was fine at this step. It should be somewhat thickish, but still pourable and not sludge like.
You now have mole negro.

The enchiladas
9. Preheat oven to 400F.
10. Chop up the chicken thighs into smaller pieces for cooking. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
11. Melt the bacon fat in a deep skillet. Brown/cook the chicken all the way through.
12. Chop up the chicken into small pieces, smaller than bite size. In a bowl, mix the chicken with 1/2 c mole negro.
13. Spread 1/2 c mole negro in the bottom of a large casserole dish. We’ve got a small 8 x 8, a 11 x 7, and a 15 x 9. I should have used the largest one. I started with the medium one and it wasn’t big enough.
14. Soften the tortillas. I suggest the wet paper towel method (wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds).
15. Lay out your tortillas and divide the chicken/mole negro mix evenly between them.
16. Roll the tortillas up in enchilada style and place in the casserole seam side down.
17. Top with more mole negro, I used maybe another 1.5 c total, but could have put in some more.
18. Top with shredded cheese.
19. Bake 20 minutes.
20. nomnomnom.

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