Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken
When we think of mole, we most often think of mahogany-colored mole negro. But as we learned in Oaxaca, there is a wide variety of moles, each with a unique character. Mole verde—or green mole—is traditionally made with pork and gets its bright, fresh flavor from a blend of fresh chilies, tomatillos and herbs. For our version, we opted for quicker-cooking but equally tasty chicken thighs, and we sought out supermarket substitutes for hard-to-find epazote and hoja santa, two herbs that are standard mole verde ingredients in Mexico (we mimicked their flavors with mint and fennel seeds). Oaxacans thicken this stew-like soup with masa, the corn dough used to make tortillas and tamales. For ease, we opted to use what we were taught is the second best option: corn tortillas softened in liquid then blended until smooth.
pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
01Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high, combine the tortillas and broth, then bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortillas (they will have softened) to a blender, add ¼ cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the puree into the boiling broth and stir to combine; rinse out the blender and reserve. Add the chicken to the pot, cover and reduce to low. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets just a little resistance, 30 to 35 minutes.
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