This month at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching Like Water For Chocolate and yours truly is hosting it! There’s still plenty of time to join us. Come get the information about how to participate here. Having both read the book and seen the movie, I thought both were impressive. In the movie there are so many food scenes – for any food blogger to find inspiration.
Tita, a young woman in Mexico, falls in love. However, tradition prevents her from marrying, as her duty in life is to care for her mother. Tita’s love ends up marrying her sister instead, so that he can still be close to her. This creates many tensions in the household, between Tita and her mother, Tita and her sister, and Tita and her love.
Tita is tasked with cooking food for the family. Luckily for the family, this is a strong skill of hers. However, Tita learns that the emotion she has when she cooks the food can make the people who eat the food react. The cake that Tita made for her sister’s wedding made everyone throw up because of her emotions when making it.
Tita helps care for her sister’s infant son, Roberto. At Roberto’s baptism Tita serves mole. When asked for the recipe she answers, “The secret is that when you cook it, you do it with much love.”
Perhaps this is why I never liked mole growing up (or my palate was still immature.) My dad would always order it when we would get Mexican food and tell me to try his chocolate chicken. Being excited I would. And then I would down a bunch of water because I hated the taste. But perhaps the mole was never made with love. I decided to give the recipe a go and I tried to make it with love. I was nervous to taste it due to my prior experiences with mole, but either my tastes have changed or I really did make this sauce with love.
Because the title of the movie is Like Water For Chocolate, I opted to make this chocolate chicken. It was a great dish when made with love.
Chicken Breast in Mole
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
kosher salt, to taste
3 tbsp sesame seeds
3 whole cloves
1/4 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp caraway seeds
1/8 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 dried guajillo chile peppers
1 dried ancho chile pepper
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp pecan halves
1/2 6-inch corn tortilla, cut into pieces
3/4 oz chocolate chips
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
drop of almond extract
pinch of sugar
1. In a large pot place the chicken breasts. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Set aside and save the cooking liquid.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet for 5 minutes or until brown. Pour into a food processor. In the same skillet add the cloves, caraway seeds, coriander, and cinnamon. Toast for 3 minutes. Pour into food processor.
3. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil into the skillet. Fry the peppers for 2 minutes on each side. Fill a bowl with water and place the chile peppers in the water. Soak for 30 minutes.
4. In the same skillet add the dried cranberries, pecans, and corn tortilla. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the tortillas are brown. Add everything in the skillet, including the vegetable oil, into the food processor.
5. Once the chiles are pliable, add the chiles and 3/4 cup of the liquid the chiles were soaking in into the food processor. Puree until you get a smooth thick sauce.
6. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chile sauce and fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved water the chicken cooked in. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Add the chocolate chips, cinnamon, and almond extract, stirring frequently until the chocolate melts. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Add the chicken and cook for 10 more minutes.