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Recipe: Mole Verde, another pumpkin seed favorite

Wendy Huntington, a Buffalonian who spends time in Mexico, learned how to make this mole verde, or green mole, at a cooking class in San Miguel. She likes it with simmered chicken thighs, as detailed below.

Mole Verde

(As cooked by Wendy Huntington)

3 poblano chiles
8 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
½ cup sesame seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds (or 1 cup any combination of: pumpkin seeds,  blanched and peeled almonds and peanuts)
1 plantain (as ripe – meaning black – as possible), peeled and sliced
1 corn tortilla
½ cup raisins
1 lettuce leaf
¼ cup parsley
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cloves
4 cups chicken broth, heated
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt to taste

1.    Roast the poblano chiles just until soft in 400 degree oven. Roughly chop and place in large bowl. (This can be done the day before.)

2.    Roast the tomatillos and garlic in same oven on a separate sheet until soft (but don’t let the tomatillos pop open because you’ll lost the juice). Add to bowl with chiles.

3.    Toast the seeds in a skillet (actually I do them in the oven) and add to bowl. Repeat the process with the nuts. (This can be done a few days ahead.)

4.    Add the remaining ingredients, up to and including the cloves, to the bowl.

5.    Put ½ the contents of the bowl in a blender or processor with 1 cup of broth and process until smooth. Transfer to another bowl. Repeat the process with the rest of the mixture and another cup of broth.

6.    Heat the oil in a medium size pot. When it starts to sizzle, add the puree and let it thicken. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in more chicken broth if needed or a thinner sauce is desired.

7.    Taste and season with salt.

This is great on enchiladas or eggs or on chicken (see below). Although it’s best eaten the day that it’s made, it can be frozen and is actually pretty good.

Chicken in Green Mole

Place 8 chicken thighs in a pot of boiling water with ¼ onion, 2 garlic cloves and salt. Let the chicken simmer for 45 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pot. (You can use this broth, strained and de-fatted, for the mole recipe if you want.). Place chicken in the mole sauce and heat thoroughly before serving. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and/or sesame seeds.

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