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  • Leigh

An Easier, Weeknight Chicken Mole

I had boneless, skinless chicken thighs on hand that I intended to put in the slow cooker, but things got in the way. Sometimes that happens. I decided I would cook the chicken thighs anyway and that I wanted something a little different than a run-of-the-mill pasta dish. So I opted for Chicken Mole--a revised, quicker version that doesn't require hours and dozens of ingredients to prepare. I also minimized the heat in the dish to please my husband, who isn't keen on spicy chilies in his food. The chicken thighs browned with onions in the skillet and then braised in a mildly spiced, cocoa-infused tomato sauce. A little peanut butter and a handful of raisins provided richness and more complexity to the sauce. You could stick with tradition and serve the Chicken Mole with rice. Nonetheless, I chose grits, which I think worked well to catch the rich mole sauce.

Easy Weeknight Chicken Mole

Easy Weeknight Chicken Mole -- Serves 4+

1-2 tablespoons of canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped small

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper

1/4 cup of raisins

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute it for about 5 minutes until it begins to turn translucent. Push the onion to the sides of the pan and add the chicken. Let the chicken brown on one side for 5-6 minutes and then flip it and let the other side cook for 5-6 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and sesame seeds and stir them into the onion and chicken. Sprinkle the cocoa powder over the chicken. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, peanut butter, and raisins and turn the heat down to medium low. Cover the skillet and let the chicken cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring the chicken and sauce periodically, until the chicken is fork-tender and the sauce has thickened. Sprinkle the chicken with a bit of cilantro, and serve the chicken and sauce over rice, grits, or tortillas, if you'd like.

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