Chicken Mole with Chocolate Balsamic
4 tablespoons OLIVE & VINE Baklouti Chili Pepper infused olive oil, divided
5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast tenders
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock
2 large yellow onions, sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, blanched
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
6 large garlic cloves
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces dried Pasilla chilies, stemmed, seeded, cut with scissors into 1 inch pieces
2 ounces dried Ancho chiles stemmed, seeded, cut with scissors into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup OLIVE & VINE Chocolate Decadence balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sauté the chicken until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Add the bay leaf and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan (cast iron is ideal for this) over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add almonds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Sauté until the nuts and seeds begin to toast lightly, about 2 minutes. Add the chilies and stir until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the onion and chili mixture to the pot with the chicken and stock. Add the chocolate balsamic and oregano and stir to combine. Cover and simmer gently until the chilies are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot to a large bowl and coarsely shred. Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and gently stir to incorporate. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro. Add a drizzle of Baklouti Chili Pepper olive oil for more heat, if desired.
This recipe can be served immediately, but gets better with time, and can be made up to three days in advance.
Serves 6-8 generously .