Mole Enchiladas (Guest Post)
We love mole in this household. Before we took on the daunting task of making it ourselves, I would always buy the solidified stuff that comes in jars. It would be my go-to dinner whenever we had guests (my go-to breakfast for guests has always been chilaquiles).
One of the first meals I made for Allison’s father and siblings was chicken mole (I was not proud of that meal as I added too much chicken broth and the mole tasted a little diluted, to me at least). I also made chicken mole for Allison’s family friends who visited us from Philadelphia. I even had the privilege of preparing mole, and therefore introducing Mexican food, to a very thankful Japanese friend.
All of these mole meals were from a jar; I’m so ashamed just thinking back on it.
After making it from scratch I made the decision to never buy mole from a jar again. Sure, the job of making your own mole is involved and time-consuming, but we made 10 cups and froze most of it, so that batch of mole stretched over quite a few meals.
We would defrost a two-cup container on a weeknight after baking chicken. Spread some in avocado chicken tacos (or chicken tacos, or avocado tacos…), or just spread some on warmed tortillas. Add some to a container of rice and beans for a quick lunch at work. Add some to huevos rancheros. Wait, we’ve never added mole to huevos rancheros, but we should.
We got the idea of using mole instead of an enchilada sauce when we saw this on a restaurant menu. I love mole and I love enchiladas; I don’t know why I didn’t think of it first because it sounded amazing. I ordered the dish and was pleasantly surprised.
I’m a little wary of ordering mole poblano in a restaurant. Some moles are too sweet, some are too watery or thin. Or sometimes the dish contains only the tiniest bit of it, like the most recent time I ordered something with mole.
It was listed as a “chicken mole burrito mojado,” or wet burrito. Normally wet burritos are drenched in sauce, allowing you to cut them apart so the sauce soaks the burrito ingredients. This particular burrito mojado had the thinnest layer of mole, leading me to believe that the “chicken mole” on the inside would be saucy, you know, like chicken mole. Nope, the ingredients consisted of grilled chicken and black beans with no hint of mole.
This was not the world’s worst burrito by any means, but it’s one to remember. Word to the wise: don’t skimp on the mole! Especially if you have beans and/or rice on the side—they need in on the sweet and spicy action.
These mole enchiladas didn’t have that problem; they were drenched in sauce.
They were a rare treat, since I only make rolled enchiladas about once a decade, but it’s one that we hope to make again, the next time we have a surplus of mole poblano.
Usually when I make enchiladas, I layer them like a lasagna because it’s fast and I’m lazy. For this dish, I spent the time and effort to fill each tortilla and roll them up, side by side—how enchiladas should be done. I soaked each tortilla in mole after frying, filled them up with cheese and chicken, rolled them all up, and added more cheese and more mole. I used so much mole I had barely any left over for the rice, but the enchiladas made up for it.
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(Serves 4; makes 12-16 enchiladas)
~ 1½ lbs. boneless chicken thighs
~ 3-4 cups chicken stock
~ 4 cups mole poblano sauce
~ 1 additional cup chicken stock (if defrosting frozen mole poblano sauce)
~ sunflower oil, for frying tortillas
~ 12-16 small corn tortillas
~ about 8 oz. shredded cheese
~ queso fresco, for serving
~ fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
~ Spanish Tomato Rice to accompany the enchiladas
~ two 8″ square baking dishes or one 9×13″ dish
~ small, shallow pan for frying tortillas
How to make it:
1. Combine the chicken thighs and chicken stock in a large stockpot. Bring to a strong simmer, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until thighs are cooked through. Discard stock (or reserve it to make Spanish Rice) and transfer cooked chicken to a plate. Allow chicken to cool a bit before shredding it with two forks.
2. Warm mole poblano sauce in a saucepan. Or from frozen: preferably start defrosting it in the fridge overnight; transfer frozen mole to saucepan, adding 1 cup chicken stock (or a bit of water), and slowly warm over low heat until defrosted.
3. Add 1 cup warmed mole sauce to the shredded chicken, and mix until combined.
4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the following on your stovetop (or counters—you only need two burners, but it’s nice to have everything set close together): in-progress Spanish Rice and shallow/wide bowl of remaining mole sauce on the two back burners; glass baking dish and small, shallow omelette pan (for frying) on the front burners. Add enough oil to the omelette pan to submerge a corn tortilla, and set the burner to high heat.
5. Once the oil is hot, slide one tortilla at a time into the oil, and fry for about 5 seconds (to slightly crisp tortilla, though it should remain fold-able). Remove the tortilla (we use chopsticks) and slide it into the bowl of mole sauce to completely coat it in mole. Remove the tortilla (with a separate utensil—don’t let any spoons that have mole sauce on them touch the hot oil), and transfer it to the glass baking dish. Fill the enchilada with a few pinches of shredded chicken, sprinkle with cheese, then roll up the tortilla, turning it upside-down so that it rests on its seam. Repeat for each enchilada. Finally, pour remaining extra mole over the enchiladas and sprinkle with extra cheese.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm garnished with crumbles of queso fresco and chopped cilantro with a side of Spanish Rice.
Print this recipe! (PDF)
Related recipe posts:
|Layered Chicken Enchiladas||Mole Poblano||Huevos Rancheros||Avocado Chicken Tacos|