'Easiest Ever' Chicken Mole Enchiladas
Cook's Note: Queso Fresco is a white, mild, fresh Mexican cheese with the texture of fresh farmer's cheese in the US. Queso fresco can be found in many supermarkets, or can also substituted with a mild feta cheese.
Cook's Note: The pasilla is a Mexican dried chile, also known as "ancho" or "chile negro" in the U.S. It is often used in moles and other Mexican sauces. It also can be sold as a fresh chile in the U.S. - similar to the poblano. They can be found at most supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online.
*Cooks note: Ibarra chocolate is a brand of Mexican chocolate that can be purchased in most national supermarkets. If you cannot find Ibarra or any Mexican chocolate, you can substitute one ounce of Mexican chocolate for: 1 (1-ounce) of semi-sweet chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and one drop of almond extract
- 2 chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 5 dried pasilla chiles, (or dried anocho chiles) stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, grilled crisp, recipe follows (or handful of regular tortilla chips)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5.5 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped, (recommended: Ibarra*)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
- 3/4 cup queso fresco (or mild Feta)
For the chicken breasts: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet, season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and olive oil, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through or, set aside to cool, then shred into small (1-inch) pieces.
For the Mole: Reconstitute the dried chiles by soaking them in 1 1/2 cups hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside. Grill the 2 corn tortillas in a grill pan until dry, crisp and golden. Tear into pieces and set aside. In a heavy large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with a little salt and saute 3 minutes, or until translucent. Then add the minced garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer onion and garlic mixture to blender with all remaining mole ingredients (except for the chocolate and chicken) and blend until very smooth. Then transfer the sauce to a medium saute pan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in the chocolate. Season the mole with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1 cup of mole for garnishing the enchiladas, the rest will be used for dipping the tortillas.
To assemble the enchiladas: Re-heat the shredded chicken if necessary and keep warm. In a medium saute pan (wide enough to fit the tortillas laying flat) over high heat add the oil to reach 1/2-inch up the side. When oil is hot, dip one tortilla at a time, and fry for a few seconds just until soft and heated through. Lift out, let excess oil drip, then dip the fried tortilla directly into the warm mole (which should be right next to the pan for easy dipping) and place on a cutting board. Working quickly, put about 1/3 cup of the warm shredded chicken in the center, being careful not to over fill. Roll the tortilla like a cigar to enclose the filling and place in serving dish seam side down. (Individual gratin dishes work great to hold the extra mole sauce or if serving family style, a baking dish will work as well.) If necessary, use tongs or a spatula to place each enchilada seam side down in the dish. Continue to fill all of the tortillas and place them side-by-side. Pour the remaining, reserved Mole over the top, drizzle with a little creme fraiche, sprinkle with queso fresco, and serve.