In my family, the Easter holiday was always preceded by meat abstinence on Fridays and certain other special days. I’m ashamed to admit that I am not entirely privy as to the exact custom of precise days to avoid eating meat. This was the domain of my mother, who was a saint, and who is now one year and two months old in heaven (deceased).
My mother enforced the rule of abstinence from meat on us with tasty alternative Mexican dishes, but our meat eating ways still hungered for her classic recipes, which she would use to lift the ban. On Easter one of the dishes that she would prepare was “Mole,” a meat in chile sauce [pronounced moe-leh]. It can be made with pork, which is delicious, but my mother preferred to make it with chicken.
6 Chicken leg quarters
5 Cup chicken broth
2 Chile Poblano peppers
2 Cup chopped onion
4 Cup tomato
2 Teaspoon ground cumin
5 Tablespoon salt
4 Tablespoons chopped garlic
¾ Cup chopped dark chocolate
2 Cups Mole Doña Maria condiment
2 Tablespoons Maize Meal or white flour
1) Boil chicken with garlic and salt.
2) Use chicken broth to boil Poblano peppers, onion, tomato, and cumin separately.
3) Take the Poblano pepper mix after boiling and liquefy in blender.
4) When chicken is ready, drain down to four cups of its own broth. Place chicken and broth into
separate large pan with liquefied Poblano pepper mix.
5) Add Mole Doña Maria condiment, chocolate, and Maize meal.
Let the chicken cook on medium for an additional 20 minutes so that the sauce seeps into the chicken, stirring occasionally and carefully. Serve with rice.
The beauty of this Mexican dish is that if you are a bread lover you can heat up rolls and this would complement it perfectly. Or you can use corn tortillas, which was my mother’s first choice. The sauce ends up being more like gravy, which is why I loved eating it with tortillas or bread.
My mother’s style was always experimental. She loved American food, which is why she would make this dish in the style of a gravy-based recipe. Sometimes she would add mashed potatoes, which just sent our taste buds on flavor and texture joyrides. I miss my mother’s kitchen. I miss my mother.