Oh, March, I’m so happy to see you. The deep winter is slowly fading away and you, sweet March, bring me the hope of plants sprouting anew, baby chicks chirping away, and time spent outdoors soaking up the sun.
Can you tell I have cabin fever? I do enjoy March for the hope that it brings; however, it’s still a cold month in Iowa. A snowstorm or two are sure to come but it also brings warmer days that lift one’s spirit to be able to spend time outdoors with nothing heavier on than a sweater. The transition from winter to spring is something to be celebrated so I want to kick off this month with a warming chili, made deep and rustic. A Mexican flavored, chicken mole chili.
A Mexican, Chicken Mole Chili
I’ve shared again and again, how simmering a batch of chicken broth brings comfort to my soul. I like to use a whole chicken, raw, with meat on the bones, and then broken down to make my broth. I feel it makes the broth much more flavorful.
My favorite thing about making a batch of chicken broth in this way is that after it’s simmered for about 12 hours, you’re left with both rich and gelatinous broth as well as chicken meat. It’s this chicken meat that I use to make enchilada’s roja, a chicken and spinach green enchilada casserole, a nourishing chicken salad sandwich, or most recently, this chicken mole chili. A mole is a signature sauce in Mexican cooking. It’s made using a variety of dried chili peppers and chocolate. The chocolate is used to counteract the heat and gives the sauce a deep, rich, color. My variation is simple and one that’s not too spicy yet filled in flavor, bold, and made bright by the fresh garnishes of cilantro, onion, and avocado.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the coming of spring than with a comforting bowl of this Mexican, chicken mole chili.
A Mexican chicken mole chili, made deep and rustic with the bold flavors of Mexico.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ancho chili
- 2 guajillo chili’s
- 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 tsp large granule salt, divided
- 1 large can diced tomatoes, 28oz
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups pinto beans
- 1 1/2 cups red kidney beans
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tbls unsweetened cocoa powder
- green onions, cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream to garnish
- In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer. Add the guajillo chili’s and allow to simmer and soften in the broth for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, add the broth with the chili’s to a blender and puree. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, gently bring 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil to heat. Add the onion, green and red peppers, garlic, and 1 tsp of salt. Mix together and saute until the onion turns transluscent and the peppers begin to soften; 5-8 minutes.
- Once softened, add the chicken broth with pureed chili’s, diced tomatoes, chicken, pinto and kidney beans; mix well. To this add the cumin, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder and an additional tsp of salt. Bring to a slow boil, lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 - 20 minutes to allow all of the flavors to incorporate.
- Serve the chili in a large bowl garnished with cilantro, green onions, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.