Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Mexican food means to me (in addition to Margaritas) either: 1. Super Americanized Chicken Tacos (you know, some chicken breast, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream...) or, 2. Going out for Mexican food!  I don't have a lot of real Mexican dishes in my repertoire.  And by a lot I mean any.  I make a mean taco dip...

I picked this recipe because I thought it would be a good opportunity to use up some of the leftover pumpkin seeds I had from the Chewda... That would have been a great plan, had I read the recipe ahead of time and realized that there were no pumpkin seeds in it.  And also, that there were a lot of things I DIDN'T have... even after a shopping exertion.  I'm not sure how authentic this recipe (taken from was to begin with, and I really didn't follow it that much anyway.  So, I still might not have any real Mexican dishes in my repertoire.  But this was good and fairly easy, and I will make it again!

This also has the benefit of being a one pot meal, unless you want to serve it with rice, which I totally did!

Pumpkin Chicken Mole
(serves 2 with leftovers for dinner or lunch the next day)
  • 2 dried Serrano chillies (L) 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped roughly (L)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (L)
  • 3/4 cups canned diced tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes if you have them (I don't)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (L)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into about 1/2 inch thick slices (L)
  • splash half and half (L)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour Cream
  • Lime wedges
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
 Cut the stems off of the chilies, cut them in half, and remove the seeds.  Heat a large pot over medium heat, and toast the chilies until they start to darken. DO NOT stand over the pot and breath deeply, as I was coughing all night!  Once chilies have toasted (about 3-5 minutes), remove and place into a bowl of warm water to soften.  Allow to soak for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add oil to the same pot.  Saute onions and garlic until they are staring to brown.  Place onions, garlic, (leave any remaining oil in the pot) tomatoes, and softened chillies into a food processor, and blend until smooth.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic, and put into the pot, adding more oil if necessary.  Cook until browned over medium high heat.  Chicken does not need to be cooked through.  Add contents of the food processor to the pot with the chicken, along with chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and is starting to fall apart, and sauce is thickened.  Add pumpkin, taste, and adjust seasonings - adding honey if you would like the Mole to be sweeter.  Add a splash of cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce comes back to temperature.

Serve over rice if desired, with cilantro, sour cream, and a squeeze of lime over the top.

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