Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Chicken Braised in Pumpkin Seed Mole Verde


This recipe was really nice; it didn't have a particularly strong flavor, but it was a very...warm, comforting dish. A hint of citrus from the tomatillos. It worked equally well with tortillas, which is how I ate my leftover's the next two days.
And not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as some mole recipes!

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (Note: very important that these are shelled!)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 romaine lettuce leaves
5 tomatillos, husked, washed coarsely chopped
Radish tops
1 chicken cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Black pepper
Pinch cinnamon, optional
Cooked rice, as an accompaniment
Sliced radishes, for garnish

In a large skillet over low heat, toast pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, and oregano until fragrant and pumpkin seeds begin to pop, 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons toasted seeds, and transfer the remaining seeds to a blender or spice grinder and process until finely ground. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine onion, cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, lettuce, tomatillos, and radish tops and puree until smooth.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown chicken on all sides in vegetable oil over medium high heat, about 10 minutes, turning the pieces as they cook. Transfer chicken to a platter.
Add the pureed vegetables to the hot skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and ground seeds, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and add the cinnamon, if desired. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes.
Serve over white rice with sliced radishes and reserved toasted pumpkin seeds.

My changes to the recipe:

Only as I was starting the recipe did I realize that but for a quarter of an onion in the fridge, we were completely out. I made do with what I had.
We searched for radishes at the grocery store, but could only find radishes in a bag...sans tops. I did what I could, and cut the very tops off for the mole.
I used veggie bullion instead of chicken stock, and my jalapenos weren't in the best of shape, so I used a tiny bit less than two peppers. Because neither Matt nor I like cilantro (hate it, actually), I substituted a bunch of parsley.
And of course, I halved the recipe, making one with chicken and another with Veat.
I did add the cinnamon, which was subtle, but nice.

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