RED PEANUT MOLE WITH CHICKEN - More Mexican Everyday, p. 105
There are two variations on this recipe, for a sweeter mole and a more savory mole, and I made them both. For both dishes, you start out by frying some ancho chiles, onion, and garlic in oil. This goes into a blender with some canned fire-roasted tomatoes, dry- or oil-roasted peanuts (mine were blister fried), bread, chipotle en adobo, allspice, cinnamon, and chicken broth. This gets blended until smooth. I used a Vitamix, so no need to pass through a sieve. You then heat some oil in a pot and add the paste, and cook it down until significantly reduced and darkened in color. At this point I divided the paste in half. I saved one portion to make the savory version of the mole on another day, and proceeded to make a half recipe of the sweet version. To the mole paste, you add more chicken broth, Mexican chocolate, salt, and a bit of sugar. He then suggests ladling this sauce over chicken thighs and baking. I was using Daring chicken, so figured I just sauté the “chicken” pieces, then add the sauce and simmer on the stove. But this sauce really wanted to scorch during simmering, so instead of watching it like a hawk and constantly stirring, I did end up putting the pot, covered, in the oven.
A few days later I made the savory version. To this version of the sauce, instead of chocolate, you add red wine, bay leaves, and a touch of vinegar. It still gets the salt and sugar same as the sweet version. I used the same Daring “chicken” pieces, but this time baked them uncovered (after sautéing the chicken on the stove, because the texture of this product is best if it gets browned a bit before going in a sauce).
Both of these were better than expected, considering how simplified they are. My usual mole is a black mole that takes all day to make and is incredibly complex, so I tend to be pretty skeptical of simplified moles. But it was pretty good. I preferred the savory version slightly. I also got better results baking the dish uncovered, so the sauce reduced a bit and the chicken pieces weren’t swimming. First pic is sweet version served with leftovers of the herby green chile rice reported on above. Second pic is the savory version (yeah, I know they look pretty much identical) served with the garlicky tomato rice variation of the creamy rice and beans (p. 250).