One of my favorite things about the cold weather and rain showing up just in time for fall is being able to cook a big Sunday meal. Nothing beats cozying up in the house with football on, a fire going, and something warm cooking on the stove or in the oven.
And this meal totally fits the bill. I know I’ve raved about my favorite Mexican family before, but I really do adore them…and the food they’ve introduced me to. About a year and a half ago, Maria invited me over to her house for a full afternoon of learning how to make authentic, Mexican food and ever since, I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Mostly of the mole. I’d make it every week if it were socially acceptable. However, between the beans, chicken, rice, tortillas, and salsa, it’s not a quick and easy meal to throw together.
So here’s the deal — it’s best when you have true, authentic mole concentrate, but since that’s not the easiest thing in the world to come by, you can use store-bought. I used Dona Maria last time, and it turned out pretty well (I’m slowly working my way through all the store-bought brands to see which one I like best). You can make this meal as involved or not as you want it. When I’m feeling ambitious, I make everything from scratch — all the way down to the tortillas. And when I’m not, I do the essentials (chicken, mole, rice, beans) and buy everything else from the store. Either way, it’s an awesome meal and I can’t wait until I get to make it again.
For the Beans:
- 2 cups dry pinto beans
- 1/4 of an onion
- dash of salt
- 1 tbs. dry parsley
- 1 tbs. Better Than Bouillon chicken base
For the Rice:
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 2 cups chicken broth
- dash of salt
For the Chicken Mole:
- 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken breast
- 1 jar of mole concentrate, preferably Dona Maria
- 2-4 cups of chicken broth
- Tortillas – I prefer flour
- Crema or sour cream
- Cotija cheese
Prepare the beans 24 hours ahead of time by dumping them into a large pot and soaking them 6 cups of water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and let soak for a minimum of 6 hours, up to 24 hours.
The next day, you’ll need to simmer the beans for approximately 2 hours, on low heat, being careful when you stir them to avoid them getting mushy. If the water is getting absorbed too quickly, you can always add more, a half cup at a time. You’ll know when the beans are done by taste-testing them to make sure they’re soft but not mushy.
While the beans are cooking, prepare the mole sauce by following the directions on the jar — depending which concentrate you use, it should be anywhere from 2-4 cups of chicken broth combined with the mole in a large saucepan. Let simmer on low heat while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Next, you can start the rice. Add 2 tbs. evoo to a large frying pan along with the 2 cups of rice. Fry for a few minutes until just golden brown. Add your 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water, along with a dash of salt. Over medium heat, bring the rice to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and let the rice continue to cook until all the water is absorbed.
Finally, you’re ready to grill the chicken. Season liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, then throw on the grill until cooked through. Remove from the grill and slice into strips.
To serve, I usually arrange the sliced chicken on a plate, cover with mole sauce, crema and cheese, and then everything else (rice, beans, tortilla, salsa) on the side. You can eat it like a fajita, or an enchilada, or really any way you like. It’s delicious no matter what…enjoy!
Yields: 6 servings
Recipe from: The one and only Maria