Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole

Slow-Cooker Chicken MoleFood to Die For
Halloween hasn’t arrived yet but I am already over it. Too many stores have had the Halloween stuff up and on the floor for sale since August. (Even worse, I have seen the Christmas stuff in some places…really?) The over-availability of anything Halloween-related has made me indifferent to the goblins and ghouls. Even my kids seem lukewarm about Halloween—and when you think about the amount of candy that could come their way, that’s saying something.

To combat this, I have decided to stage my own personal rebellion (Okay, teenage angst tantrum is probably more accurate.) and focus on the day after Halloween. This year we are going to honor our dead with a Dia De Los Muertos feast.

Some of you may see this for what it actually is: another excuse for me to make Mexican food, my favorite. You would, indeed, be correct. But consider it as a way for me to educate my family about the fascinating traditions of other countries, thus making them more well-rounded and accepting citizens of the world. …Nah, I wouldn’t buy that either.

I will say this, any opportunity to get together with family and friends, to remember those whom we have loved and lost, is worthwhile. If it happens to also come with some rockin’ good food (and don’t forget the Margaritas!) from south of the border, so much the better.

Most of our honoring will occur on the soccer pitch, because of playoffs. I am going to use this Chicken Mole recipe to make life a little easier. Mole is one of the most iconic and flavorful dishes of Mexico. And is, therefore, the perfect choice with which to coax the spirits of the departed back to gather with friends and family for a great feast.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole
Adapted from Martha Stewart

What is great about this recipe is the ease of preparation. It is perfect to do in the morning, and find a simmering pot of mole when you get home from a day’s work.

4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12)
Coarse sea salt
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes
1 roughly chopped medium yellow onion
2 dried, stemmed ancho chiles
1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
1/4 cup raisins
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Season the chicken thighs with salt, and place them in a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker or crockpot. (For extra flavor, brown the chicken before putting it in the crockpot.)

Puree the tomatoes, onion, ancho, and chipotle chiles, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, oil, cumin, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth.

Pour the tomato mixture into your slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Serve the chicken in the sauce, topped with cilantro, over Mexican or white rice.

Instant Pot
You can use the slow cooker function of the Instant Pot. Or, cook the chicken on high pressure for ten minutes allowing the pressure to release naturally.

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