Monday, April 11, 2011

The Chicken Mole Test

We've all probably have had this experience... eaten some amazing dish somewhere, fallen in love with it... only to be unable to recreate it at home or find it at some other restaurant.

My saga began in Cancun twenty years ago, on our Honeymoon. I can't exactly recall the name of the restaurant... something Rosa?...Rosa something?. It was in the guide books of the day. The "day" being the very beginning of the building of Cancun as a resort town. The restaurant was a local haunt in the heart of the old city. The ambiance was festive, including the duo with guitars and huge sombreros who serenaded us. I've tried to do a search to see if it was still around today, but no luck.

The star of the meal for me was my very first Chicken in Chocolate Mole and I licked the plate clean. It was so good that I kept ordering it at every other restaurant we went to during our visit... some were almost as good, others, not quite. Since then, whenever we go to a Latin restaurant with Mole on the menu, I am compelled to order some. And every time I order it, I am disappointed. I've even tried to recreate it at home from some of my cookbooks... still a disappointment.

Until now, that is! I recently received a copy of The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz. (You can check out my review here). It's a great book, filled with funny stories and many delicious recipes, but my favorite will always be ...

...David's recipe which is as good or even better than my memories of it. I suppose, since David is the chocolate king, that I shouldn't be surprised.

For the uninitiated, chocolate mole is a sauce made with lots of spices, mild dried chilies, reconstituted and unsweetened chocolate. It is a wonderful, rich & mellow blend and good enough to lick off the spoon or drizzled over some wrap. I'm drooling again. I guess it's time to whip up another batch.

So my question to you... what was that one dish you wish you could recreate? Leave me a comment.


MM said...

I'm not a copy cat...honest! But it would be Chicken Mole for me too. I fell in love with it at a restaurant and have never met its equal. In fact, I've had some pretty awful versions! Although an hour away, luckily the restaurant is still open.

I will be trying this! Thanks!

Ruth Daniels said...

Let me know how this one compares.

Ty'sMommy said...

Oh Ruth, Mole is definitely high up on my list! Many, many years ago, I attended the wedding of my best friend's cousin in California. The women of the family made all the food and I fell in love....with Tia Lupe's chicken mole. The closest I've come since then wasn't in a restaurant but with some rpepared mole powder that a friend brought me back from her favorite market in her hometown in Mexico. I have seen and tried many recipes as well, but to no avail. I may just have to give this one a whirl!

Joanne said...

I've also had a ONE GOOD CHICKEN MOLE experience so I am DEFINITELY going to have to try this recipe!

The other is this bread pudding I had at a restaurant in Boston after my college graduation...caramel, banana, peanut butter, chocolate...the most amazing thing I've ever eaten. And I've eaten some good bread pudding after that...but none that has come close to comparing.

Elizabeth said...

Mine is mole, too. I had some enchiladas with a mole sauce at Frontera Grill in Chicago and nothing since has ever come close. I was in Puerto Vallarta last year and had a chicken with mole that came close, but not quite. I've come to accept the fact that I'll never get mole that good again unless I go back to Frontera. I've thought about trying to make it on my own but it's one thing I'm super chicken about.

Ruth Daniels said...

This one is super easy to make once you get the ingredients. The hardest part for me was finding the dried ancho and poblano chilies.