Chicken mole poblano with potatoes in ancho cream

In light of it being the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, we decided to try our hand at chicken mole poblano. It’s actually a somewhat appropriate dish given the origins of the holiday, commemorating the Battle of Puebla, and its use of dried poblano chili peppers (which originate in the state of Puebla). Somewhat on a whim, when deciding what to pair with it, I found a potato recipe for potatoes in a chili cream sauce.

Recipe

from Mexican
Serves 2

1 chicken breast, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 dried ancho chili, reconstituted and finely chopped
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 tbsp chopped almonds
1/8 tsp each ground cinnamon, cumin and cloves
1-1/2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp raisins
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tbsp peanut butter
1 oz semisweet chocolate with a high cocoa content, grated
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken. Cook until browned on all sides and remove from pan. Add onion, garlic, and chili and cook until softened. Add sesame seeds, almonds, and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, raisins, stock, peanut butter and chocolate and stir well. Season to taste and let simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Return mixture to the skillet, add chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for an hour, or until chicken is very tender. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and grated chocolate.

Potatoes with ancho cream

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
pinch of salt and sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 dried ancho chili, reconstituted, seeded and thinly sliced
4 oz. goat cheese, sliced
cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place potatoes in a pan of water with salt and sugar and bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are half cooked. Combine sour cream with stock, garlic and chili in a bowl. Arrange half potatoes in a flameproof casserole. Pour half sour cream sauce over potatoes and cover with goat cheese slices. Top with remaining potatoes and sauce. Sprinkle cheddar on top. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: In order to kick things up a notch, David chopped up a “priki nu” (Thai miniature pepper) and sprinkled it over top. For the potatoes in cream, the original recipe called for chipotle; however, we used dried ancho instead. Also, due to a lack of goat cheese (as this was a somewhat spur of the moment dish), we substituted in cream cheese.

In the end, I believe we successfully commemorated Cinco de Mayo, as our dish turned out to be very tasty. David was worried it wouldn’t be punchy enough, but the chili and chocolate flavours blended well together. It was very mild, in terms of spiciness, and David thinks that next time we might try it with a half a reconstituted chipotle pepper (the recipe suggested either chipotle or anchos as options), as chipotles tend to be spicier. We paired the dish with potatoes in ancho cream, which we thought would complement the ancho in the mole. This potato dish is essentially a Mexican scalloped potatoes and thus tasted delicious. Creamy, with great flavour. A great new spin on potatoes and cream. Yum. I would definitely characterize our celebration attempts as a success!

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