From the "Class Act" article in the April 2018 issue.
When you hear the Spanish word mole, you probably think of chocolate, Swenor says, but mole comes from the Nahuatl word for “sauce,” and that’s how he interprets it here, with some of the same flavors but without the thickness of the chile or the richness of the chocolate. This full recipe makes more than enough for six tostadas, but resist the urge to cook a smaller amount. You will want leftovers.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 ounce cinnamon bark
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 dozen sprigs fresh oregano
- 6–8 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a thick-bottomed 6-quart pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Salt and pepper thighs generously and sear 5–7 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned.
- Add garlic, herbs, and spices and toss to combine.
- Add enough chicken stock to barely cover, about 4–6 cups. Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook 2–3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add stock as necessary to keep the chicken moist.
- When the meat is tender and falling off the bone, remove it from the pot, along with the cinnamon bark, oregano stems, and bay leaves. Leave the remaining chicken stock in the pot and simmer, uncovered, until it is reduced to a thick sauce.
- Allow the meat to cool, then remove the chicken bones and cartilage. Use your hands or two forks to shred it.