Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chimichangas de Pollo en Mole, Guacamole, Mexican Rice

So, our Cinco de Mayo dinner recipe is posting a bit late, but that's only because we're too busy eating leftovers to wash our fingers off and use a keyboard.  I originally had designs on a traditional Mexican meal, complete with an old school mole that involved all kinds of chiles, cocoa, nuts, and herbs along with several steaming, steeping, grinding processes, etc.  Needless to say, that didn't come to pass.  Instead, I found a couple of modern, shortcut recipes that have a very similar taste and texture to the one that Abuelita would make and they only take a little while to prepare, comparatively.

We decided on chimichangas as they are just like a burrito only deep fried crispy and they happen to be one of my favorite things to get when we go out for Mexican here in NorCal.  Jen put together the filling and made a guacamole that was perfect to balance the mild heat and savory flavor of the mole sauce.

I could think of no better group to accompany this recipe than Union 13 as they are a rocking punk band from East Los Angeles that is not only comprised of Hispanics but also sing at least one song on each of their four albums in Spanish.  Suitable for Mexican dinner on Cinco de Mayo, especially since Jen and I both had a couple shots of Chinaco Reposado (my favorite tequila) to celebrate!  -justin

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 can (8oz) salsa verde 
  • 2 tbsp ground New Mexico chile powder
  • 2 tbsp ground Pasilla chile powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 fresh Poblano peppers, seeded, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter  
To start, pulverize the pumpkin seeds in a grinder or small food processor.  Incorporate the can of salsa verde with the pumpkin seeds in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking, until thickened, around 15 minutes or so.

While the salsa and seeds are going, combine the New Mexico chile, Pasilla chile, cayenne powder, salt, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.  This is the seasoning mix referred to from here on out.

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over high heat.  When butter is hot, add the onions and Poblanos and cook for 3 minutes without stirring.  Stir in 3 tbsp of the seasoning mix, add the garlic to the pot, and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and the brown sugar and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Add another 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the pan and deglaze with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get all the good bits off the bottom.  Stir in the chocolate, peanut butter, and the pumpkin seed/salsa verde mixture.  Cook for 3-4 minutes while continuing to stir.  Add the remaining 4 cups of chicken stock, the rest if the seasoning mix (make sure to save 1/2 tbsp to use in the cimichanga filling!) and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes.  At this point you'll want to use a whisk to make sure everything is mixed well.  Stir continuously until sauce thickens, becomes darker brown, and comes to a rolling boil (large, fast bubbles).  Reduce heat to low and mix with a hand blender (or portion into stand blender) until smooth.  Let simmer over low heat for 20 more minutes or until sauce coats the back of a spoon like a brown gravy.  Let cool and place in fridge while preparing the chimichangas as this will give the flavors a chance to marry.  This sauce can be made several days ahead of time and stored in the fridge, in an airtight container.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground, black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon leftover seasoning mix from Mole sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chiles
  • few dashes of green Tabasco 
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
    Preheat oven to 450F degrees.  Add oil to 1 large baking sheet and brush evenly over surface.  Side note: Jen and I also use tin foil (or aluminum foil for you modern folks) on our sheet pans before oiling as they are super easy to clean up after dinner that way!  Mix salt and pepper and apply evenly to both tops and bottoms of thighs.  Space evenly apart on sheet pan and place in center of the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until skin in golden brown.  Let cool until you can handle them.

    Tear off meat from bones and shred into a large bowl (I use my hands, but you can use two forks to shred it too.)  Add the cilantro, oregano, seasoning mix, lime juice, chiles, Tabasco, Cheddar and salt and pepper and toss.

    Heat the vegetable oil to medium-high in a large skillet.  Fill your tortillas with the meat mixture (Jen added Mexican rice, guacamole, and more cheese to hers.)  Fold sides in tightly and roll so that the ends are sealed, like a burrito.  Fry in oil seam-side down first, until golden brown, then turn and cook until entire chimichanga is golden brown.

    • 3-5 ripe avocados
    • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • dash of cumin
    • dash of salt
    • few dashes of green Tabasco sauce
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 1 roma tomato, diced
    In a medium-sized bowl, add avocado and lime juice.  Mash.  Then add garlic powder, cumin, salt, Tabasco, green onions, and tomato.  Mix.  (I like to top it with crumbled Queso Fresco! -jen)

    • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
    • 1 cup uncooked white rice
    • 1.5 cups water
    • 1 can (4oz) tomtao sauce
    • 1 heaping tablespoon Caldo de Pollo (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
    • 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (to taste)
    • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (click for homeade taco seasoning recipe)
    • 1 can (7oz) diced green chiles
    • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeƱos
    • 7oz (1/2 of a 14oz can) diced tomatoes
    • salt and pepper
    In medium sauce pan, heat oil on high. When oil is hot, add rice and fry for several minutes (do not brown). Add water, tomato sauce, Caldo de pollo, garlic, taco seasoning, chiles, and jalepeƱos. Stir until well mixed and bring to a boil.

    Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with lid and let simmer 20 minutes until rice is tender. Do not lift the lid during cooking!  Once rice is tender, remove from heat, stir in tomatoes and serve.

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