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Friday, April 28, 2017

GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH SPICY GREEN MOLE

This is a take on one of Mexico’s traditional dishes. The sauce is a blend of
herbs, spices, pepitas, tomatillos, and poblanos— a delicious and complex
combination. The sauce is best made just before cooking the chicken. If you
make the sauce far in advance, it is likely that you will need to thin it with a
small amount of broth or water when reheating it.

1 tablespoon tamarind paste
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1-1⁄2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Emeril’s Southwest Essence spice blend, plus more for seasoning before grilling
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
4 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed under hot water
1⁄2 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 poblano chiles (about 3 ounces),
roasted, peeled, and chopped
1 cup roughly chopped romaine lettuce leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
11⁄2 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
(see headnote)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind paste,
1⁄2 cup of the vegetable oil, the chopped garlic, 1⁄4 cup of the chopped onion, the 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and the 1 teaspoon Southwest Essence.
2. Place the chicken breasts in a gallon- size resealable plastic bag, pour the tamarind marinade into the bag, and seal it. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
3. To make the mole, heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the tomatillos and dry- roast in the pan for 5 minutes, browning them on all sides. Remove the tomatillos and set them aside to cool. Then cut them into quarters.
4. Reduce the heat under the pan to low, and add the pumpkin seeds, coriander, and cumin. Toast the
pumpkin seeds and spices in the pan for 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the seeds and spices to the
bowl of a food pro cessor.
5. Add the clove of garlic and the remaining 1 ⁄4 cup chopped onion to the pro cessor, and pro cess for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl after 30 seconds. While the machine is running, add the tomatillos and roasted poblanos, and pro cess for another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl after 30 seconds. Add the romaine lettuce and pro cess for 1 minute more.
6. Heat a medium saucepan over low heat and add the 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once it is hot, add the mole and cook for 5 minutes. Season with the 1 ⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, and add the 11 ⁄2 cups chicken broth. Simmer the mole, stirring it occasionally, until thickened, 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the 1 ⁄4 cup chopped cilantro. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve the chicken.
7. Preheat a grill to medium- low.
8. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade. Brush them with the remaining 1 ⁄4 cup vegetable oil,
and season them liberally with Southwest Essence. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Lay the chicken breasts on the grill and cook for 3 minutes. Rotate the chicken breasts 90 degrees to make grill cross marks, and cook for another 3 minutes. Then turn the chicken over and repeat, cooking until the chicken is nicely browned and the internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer, about 12 minutes total.
9. Serve the chicken immediately, with the warm mole sauce spooned generously over the top.

Note: The tamarind in the marinade can burn easily make sure to turn the chicken more frequently if
necessary.

4 servings

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