Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson's Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would.
FOR THE MOLE
- 8 yellow bell peppers
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 yellow tomatoes
- 2 Guero Caribe chiles
- ½ cup cup raw sesame seeds
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup raw pepitas shelled pumpkin seeds, plus more for garnish
- 3 to 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup cup chopped white onion
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 6 6-inch corn tostada shells
- 2 teaspoons granulated chicken flavored bouillon preferably Knorr brand
FOR THE CHICKEN
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup cup chopped white onion
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt
- Corn tortillas for serving
- Preheat the broiler. Place the bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and chiles on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and broil until the skins are blackened and charred, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the stems, seeds, and skins from the peppers, tomatoes, and chiles.
- In a dry 12-inch skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden brown, about 2 minutes, stirring to keep from burning. Remove from the skillet and let cool. Toast the almonds and pepitas in the same skillet until the pepitas puff up but do not darken, about 2 minutes; remove the almonds and pepitas from the skillet and let cool. Once cooled, transfer the sesame seeds, almonds, and pepitas to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the broth and blend until smooth.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. SautÃ© the onion along with the oregano in the oil until the onion is tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pureed nut mixture and stir well. Reduce the heat to low.
- Place the roasted peppers, tomatoes, chiles, and another 1 cup of the chicken broth to the food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add it to the onion-nut mixture in the skillet.
- Break the tostada shells into pieces and pulse in the food processor or blender with the roasted garlic, bouillon, and 1 cup broth. Stir into the skillet mixture. Continue to cook the mole, stirring often, over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add the fourth cup of broth.
- While the mole is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in another large skillet over medium heat. Saute 1/4 cup chopped onion, the chicken, and bay leaf until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Pour the mole over the cooked chicken and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Serve garnished with pepitas with the tortillas on the side.
Excerpt from Jackie Alpers’ cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona
Hungry for More?Buy the Taste of Tucson Cookbook!