Haven't you heard? Mexican food is the next big thing. This somewhat unconventional dish (pronounced moll-ay) is creeping on to more and more Mexican menus. Made with dried fruits, it's sweet and syrupy, with a pleasant chilli sting in the tail. See the recipe from Camden tequila bar Mestizo below.
- 2 ancho chillies (see tip, below)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, or 4 chicken breasts, skins removed
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 50g raisins
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp chipotle paste
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 25g dark chocolate (look for one with at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 1 small red onion, sliced into rings
- juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve (optional)
- 150ml pot soured cream
- Put the chillies in a bowl and add enough boiling water to just cover. Leave to soften for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish, season the chicken, then brown on all sides. You may have to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the dish. Remove to a plate. Add the onions to the dish and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute until aromatic.
- Remove the chillies from their soaking liquid, reserving the liquid, and discard the stalks and seeds. Put in a food processor with 4 tbsp of the soaking liquid, the garlic and raisins. Whizz to a paste, then tip into the dish. Add the peanut butter, chipotle paste, tomatoes and 400ml water (fill up the tomato can and swirl to get all the tomato bits out). Return the chicken to the dish and season. Cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hr.
- Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and discard the bones. Alternately, use the chicken breasts whole, and spoon sauce over the dish on the plate. Return the chicken to the sauce, add the chocolate and continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 mins more. If the sauce looks like it’s getting a little too thick, add some of the chilli soaking liquid or some water.
- Cook the rice following pack instructions. Serve the dish with Mexican beans and the rice, and accompany with warmed flour or corn tortillas.