Haute cuisine presentation of traditional food fascinates me. It’s an art to be able to modernize a dish without losing its soul. The Mexican chef Enrique Olvera manages to do this with mole. Totally recognizing that I haven’t used exclusively authentic ingredients, this is my fine-dining adaptation of the traditional Mexican sauce.
My mole variation: Peel and halve a white onion. Peel a garlic clove and briefly fry it with the onion in a dry pan. Add some salt, a bay leaf, a small deseeded red chili and four chicken thighs with the skin (I know this is unconventional, but give it a try). Cover with boiling water and let simmer for 25 minutes. Remove any foam rising. Check the taste of the broth halfway through. Once he broth is hot enough, remove the chili.
In the meantime, roast two coarsely chopped tomatoes and four deseeded white bell peppers for about the same time in 180°C.
In a dry pan, roast 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 4 whole cloves, 6 whole allspice berries and 2 cinnamon sticks. Add a handful raisins and 1 dl peanut butter as well as the roasted veggies, the onion and garlic from the broth and 2 dl of the broth. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add more broth, if necessary. Blend until smooth and strain through a sieve into a clean pan. Add 100 g chopped dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted.
Carefully remove the skin from the chicken thighs. You’d want them to remain in one piece, as they will be integrated into the dish later. Broil the skins for about 10 minutes in 220°C. Take the meat off the chicken thighs and mix it with mole.
Sweet potato rounds: Peel two sweet potatoes and cut them into rounds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and dried thyme. Bake for 20 minutes in 180°C.
Place the chicken mole on the sweet potato rounds. Decorate with the fried chicken skin, lime zest and fillets, fresh chili and coriander.