Chicken mole with chive tortillitas*

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Tortillitas are really just pancakes. I used Mark Bittmann’s recipe in the New York Times, but left out the seafood and used wild chives instead of green onions. I also made them smaller — about five inches in diameter.

The mole is a bastardization of a Rick Bayless recipe. Thanks, Rick!

Chicken mole

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken, cut up – or 3-4 pounds of pieces (we like thighs)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 ½ tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 large slice white bread, cubed
¾ cup crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock or stock/water combination
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 cup canned pumpkin
salt and brown sugar to taste
½ cup half and half (optional)
chopped cilantro for garnish

1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces, and brown them, about 5-7 minutes per side.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan, and set it aside. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they’re soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile powder, cocoa, cinnamon, and bread cubes and continue cooking another minute or two, until the spices begin to smell.

3. Turn the heat off, and put the contents of the pan in a blender. Add the tomatoes, stock (or stock/water combination), and chipotles, and blend until smooth.

4. Return the mixture to the pan, and turn the heat to medium. Mix in the pumpkin. Taste, and correct the seasoning with salt and brown sugar.

5. Bring the mole to a simmer and put the browned chicken pieces back in the pan. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and simmer until the chicken falls off the bone, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

6. Remove the chicken from the pan. If the mole is too thin, turn up the heat and cook it down for a few minutes. If you’re using half and half, add it now.

7. Serve the chicken, topped with mole, over rice or tortilliatas, and sprinkle it with cilantro.

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