Olé Molé! June 26, 2008Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food.
I’ll admit, molé is fairly new to me. And I still can’t say I’ve ever actually had real, authentic molé, but a while back, we stumbled on a recipe that sounded. . . intriguing. We tried it, played around with it a little, and, based on feedback from people who may, in fact, be molé connoisseurs, I must say, it’s pretty darned good. And so easy, it’s almost embarrassing. And the coolest part of all? You can make a bunch of it, use it as a marinade for your chicken (or pork!), and freeze it for later. Where’s the bad, I ask you?
Since this recipe actually makes enough marinade and sauce for about 6 to 8 chicken breasts, and it’s kind of hard to split the recipe in half (what’s half of a third cup, anyway? And go ahead – say a sixth of a cup; I defy you to show me where that’s marked exactly on the measuring cup!), we made a full recipe and froze half. That’s certainly simple enough, isn’t it? Of course, I have the advantage – I already know we’re going to like it. So just trust me, OK? Have I ever led you astray?
The only warning I’d give is to be sure you do this at least a day in advance – your chicken (or pork!) is going to want to marinate at least 24 hours. But that’s no problem – we dumped the marinade in a package of frozen chicken so it marinated AND thawed at the same time. (You can also freeze the chicken right in the marinade – then it’s just a matter of thawing and cooking.)
You’re going to be mixing the marinade in a 2-cup measure – when I split it in half, I know that I’ve got about a cup, and I want to pour off a half cup. And even if you’re not splitting the recipe in half, it’s easier to pour out of a cup with a spout than a bowl without a spout. Just sayin’.
Measure into the 2-cup measuring cup the following stuff:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce – we use the low sodium stuff – if you can’t tell the difference in the flavor, why not, right?
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil – nothing fancy – canola oil is fine.
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar – I like dark brown, but light is fine, too.
- 2 teaspoons chipotle sauce – a word about chipotle sauce – You go to the grocery store and get a little tiny can of “chipotles en adobo” – it’s going to be in the same aisle as the Ortega taco seasoning packets and the hard crusty taco shells, and even the green chiles. It’s about a buck. Take the can of chipotles AND THE SAUCE and dump them in the Cuisinart – excuse me, the “food processor” – and just process until they’re smooth. That should give you a cup or so of “chipotle sauce.” It does keep for a while in the fridge, but I’m not sure exactly how long. We usually freeze it in an ice cube tray – each cube is about a Tablespoon. Then dump the chipotle cubes into a freezer bag and leave them in the freezer until you want something smoky-spicy. So, in this case, you’re going to use about half a cube – you can just take a paring knife and cut one cube in half, returning the unused half to the freezer. See, easy, huh?
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic – that’s about 2 cloves, if you’re keeping track.
- 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Whisk it all together, and you’ve got enough marinade and sauce for probably 6-8 chicken breasts. We were splitting it in half, so I took half of it (about a half cup), poured it into a zip-top bag, and stuck it in the freezer. It’s just sort of hanging there, weighted down by a box of phyllo, and being held up by a pound of coffee. We have GOT to clean out that freezer again.
Another day, another mole. I so love to amuse myself!
Now for the fun part.
Measure 2 Tablespoons of the remaining marinade into a small, coverable container. If you didn’t split it in half, you’re going to want to measure 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons). To the tiny container, add 1 Tablespoon (or 2 Tablespoons for the full recipe) of lime juice. That’s it. Cover and set aside for now. This will be your sauce. And you’ll thank me.
What’s left is your marinade, and you’re going to want to dump it into the bag of chicken and seal carefully. You so do not want this stuff leaking all over the bottom of your refrigerator! Tip – I have been known to put a package of raw, frozen meat into a bowl in the fridge – that way, in the unlikely event that something leaks, it leaks in the bowl, and not, say, on the lettuce. Consider this a Public Service Announcement. You can also, at this point, freeze everything – chicken in marinade AND separate sauce. Up to you.
So. Once the chicken has marinated/thawed thoroughly, all you need to do is remove it from the marinade and toss it on the grill.
Cook about 5 minutes each side (again, depending on how big your, uh, breasts are), and that’s that. And remember the bit of sauce we set aside with the splash of lime juice? Now’s when you’re going to want to get that out. Pour evenly over the chicken breasts and whatever side you’re serving (which, I assume is going to something rice-based) and voila. Add a salad, and you’ve got a super yummy, healthy low-fat summer meal.
The nutritional information on this (just the chicken and sauce) is fabulous, as well:Calories-173 (Calories from fat – 27); Fat-3.0g (saturated fat – .8g); Protein-33.2g; Total Carbohydrates-1.3g (Dietary Fiber-.3g; Sugars – .5g); Cholesterol-83mg; Sodium-291mg
And it’s tasty, too. Which, I’m sorry, is what matters. I’m all for healthy – as long as I don’t have to suffer. I’m walking twice a day and cutting down on butter. I can only sacrifice so much, you know.
Oh, and that baggie of molé sauce in the freezer? I think I’m going to add maybe a quarter teaspoon (or less) of cinnamon and see what that does for it. . . interesting idea, no?