Chicken mole

Every now and then, I have a Sunday with not much to do apart from home related chores and general life admin. Although a slow Sunday is a rarity, I like to use the time efficiently, batch cooking a few dishes that don’t need much attention then freezing them for use as a “ready meal” for when I’m too busy to cook.
This tasty chicken mole recipe fits the bill so well, requiring time (2 hrs) but little effort to make.
Mole is a Mexican stew-like dish with mild chilli and a hint of dark chocolate to give it richness. I usually serve it with cauliflower or ordinary rice, a lime wedge and some fresh coriander.

Chicken mole flatlay.JPG

Ingredients (to make a big batch enough for 4-6 dinners)

For the mole paste:
2 dried ancho chillies - seeds & stalks removed, steeped in boiling water for 15 mins
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
50g raisins
100ml of the water the chillies are soaked in

2 onions, finely chopped
3 tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp cinnamon
a small bunch of coriander, stalks finely chopped and leaves set aside to garnish
1 small aubergine, cubed
4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp chipotle paste
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of water
1 heaped tablespoon of good quality cocoa powder or raw cacao
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season
oil to cook such as rapeseed or coconut
a small red onion, finely sliced
1 lime

Put the mole paste ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth.
Put a large flameproof casserole or saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onions and a tablespoon or two of oil, pop the lid on the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the coriander stalks, cumin and cinnamon and cook for another minute to toast the spices. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Stir in the aubergine, chicken, peanut butter, chipotle paste, the mole paste, chopped tomatoes and water, give it a good stir and season again with two good pinches of sea salt and some freshly cracked black pepper.
Bring to boil, turn down the heat to low, pop a lid on the pan and cook an hour to an hour and a half, until the chicken is easy to shred. Remove the chicken from the sauce, shred with a fork, return to the pan, add the cocoa and cook for another half an hour until the sauce becomes thick.
Check the seasoning and season again if necessary.
Serve topped with fresh coriander, sliced red onion and the juice of a wedge of lime.