Chicken and Vegetarian Tamales With Red Mole Sauce

This recipe comes from the northern part of Mexico.


Mole Sauce:
5 Roma tomatoes
2 smalls onions, diced
4 whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Taza cinnamon chocolate disc
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Mulato chiles
5 Guajillo chiles
Chicken Filling:
6 chicken breasts
4 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup corn oil
5 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
Masa (Dough):
2 pounds instant corn masa
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons Chili Powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
2 cups corn oil
5 cups vegetable broth ( I used vegetable bouillon cubes)
Vegetarian Filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, julienned
1 poblano pepper, chopped
3/4 cup leeks, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. On day 1, take a whole bag of dried corn husks and soak in cold water. It you want to make on the same day, it can be soaked for up to an hour, otherwise they can soak overnight. When removing from water, dry each husk with a paper towel and set aside.
2. Fry 5 roma tomatoes, 2 small onions, 4 garlic cloves in 1/4 cup olive oil for 10 minutes or until the skins on the tomato start falling off. Cool mixture and remove tomatoe skins. See pic below.
3. Next, take 6 chile ancho peppers and 5 chile guajillo peppers and remove stems and remove seeds. Wash the peppers over cold water and dry. On a medium high, toast the peppers until a litle brown on the skin for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place in a bowl and cover with hot water for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toast 2 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds and 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds until browned. Place in a coffee grinder and grind until it looks like a seed meal.
5. After the thirty minutes have passed, drain the peppers and place tomato mixture, peppers, and 4 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth in a blender.
6. Liquefy the mixture and pass through sieve. Sauce should be in a saucepan after going through sieve. Add 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp salt, seed meal, 1/4 cup Taza cinnamon/chocolate pieces, 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp cinnamon. Simmer mixture for 30 minutes.
7. Boil 6 chicken breasts with 4 bay leaves and 3 garlic cloves for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and drain water. Cool and shred chicken. In a separate sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup corn oil, 5 Tbsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 Tbsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp salt. Heat for 5 minutes and then pour over chicken and mix thoroughly. Cool and cover and refrigerate.
8. In a separate bowl, add 2 pounds of instant corn masa and place the following spices: 3 Tbsp paprika, 3 Tbsp salt, 1/2 Tbsp cumin, 3 Tbsp Chili Powder, 3 Tbsp garlic powder. Mix flour and spices well. Add 2 cups of corn oil to flour mixture. After incorporating oil, slowly incorporate 5 cups of vegetable broth. I use my hands so I can get a good arm work out. It is a lot of dough, but I guess it can be done on a dough hook on your Kitchen Aid.
9. Saute the vegetarian filling for 10 minutes.
10. On day 2, assemble the tamales. It is so much faster if you add the masa to all the husks first and then add the filling. Cover 2/3 of the wider portion of the husk leaving the 1/3 space from the narrower section on top and side. Masa should be 1/2 inch thick.
11. Add 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp of chicken depending on size of corn husk.
12. Add 2 Tbsp of veggies to 12 tamales.
13. Roll each tamale, without overlapping the corn husk, then fold the bottom portion to seal each tamale. The sealed section should be facing down. It is like a taco on the inside.
14. Place in a double steamer with water that does not overflow into the steamer. The tamales cook for 2 hours, so continue to check the water and refill as to prevent evaporation. After 2 hours, remove tamale from steamer, let cool on a plate for 3-5 minutes and remove corn husk and serve. Add mole sauce and enjoy!
Credit: Foodista

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