By Cat, Mar 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I did not grow up knowing about chiles; I discovered them after moving to Portland Oregon after graduate school, when I found the small Mexican food cafes were inexpensive and surprisingly delicious.
But then in the 1980s, a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant serving Santa Fe-style food opened down the street from my home in Portland. They offered three different sauces of which the mole sauce was by far my favorite on a chicken enchilada. I was hooked, and now that I live in Montana, I have to figure out how to make it myself.
Chicken Mole Enchiladas (with Red Chili Sauce)
For my first try, I adapted a sauce recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook, made with tomatoes. I did not like the result and do not recommend a tomato sauce for the enchiladas–see Testing 3/3/08 (below the recipe).
My Portland friend Kevynne L. in Portland then sent me her recipe for Red Chili Sauce, which she says is the traditional sauce for enchiladas in Mexico, where she and hubby Jon spend most winters. Her sauce is made with New Mexico chiles.
I’ve not yet tested this mole enchilada using the Red Chile Sauce, but I have tested that sauce with Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas, and loved the sauce.
Serves 4 – 6.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 recipe Chicken Mole (Quick or Traditional)
- 1 recipe Red Chili Sauce
- 1 cup Jack cheese, shredded (4 oz)
- 12 corn tortillas
- sour cream or creme fraiche (optional)
- Pico de Gallo (fresh salsa, for optional garnish)
- small serving bowl
- 9 x 13″ baking dish, or individual gratin dishes
- cast iron skillet
- Prep: At least 2 hours in advance of serving, prepare Pico de Gallo; chill in refrigerator.
- Prepare Chicken Mole using two half-breasts, cubed or shredded (consider pre-cooking the chicken the day before, or the morning of serving). If using leftover Mole, warm it while making the fresh salsa.
- Prepare or warm red chili sauce.
- Meanwhile, shred cheese into a bowl; set aside.
- Assembly: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking dish or gratin dishes with palm oil or lard.
- Heat a bit of olive oil in a cast iron skillet; soften each tortilla in the hot oil, just long enough to soften but not crisp.
- Spread a bit of chile sauce on each tortilla, reserving some sauce. Spoon about 2 – 4 Tbsp chicken mole in center, sprinkle a bit of the cheese mix on top, then roll up the tortilla and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat until all tortillas have been filled.
- Pour remaining chili sauce over all, shaking the pan to get the sauce to settle around/between the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake, uncovered in preheated oven about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, and fresh salsa. You can also add avocado slices, olives and Taco Sauce, hot sauce, or Pico de Gallo as garnish.
- Serve with pinto or black beans.
Chicken Mole Enchiladas with Tomato Sauce; Testing 3/3/08: Used tomato enchilada sauce. The mole filling is good, but the enchiladas didn’t turn out so good. The sauce tastes like spaghetti sauce, and the whole thing is too heavy. (Ingredients for sauce: 2 Tbsp olive oil or lard, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed, 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 2 cups diced tomatoes). I cannot recommend this version (tomato sauce). Next I want to test Kev’s Red Chile Sauce. While I’ve not yet tested that change; I have tried the Red Chile Sauce in my chicken and black bean enchilada recipe, and loved the sauce.
- Kevynne L, Portland OR