Chicken Molé Pot Pie (aka Wish I Was a Molé in the Round!)
4 cups vegetables, chopped
(fingerling potatoes, delicata squash
& okra recommended)
2½ Tbs. peanut oil + more for vegetables
3 lbs. skinless chicken thighs
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1⅓ cup orange juice
1 lb. onions, sliced
4 oz. dried negro or ancho chiles
1/3 cup almonds, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 Tbs. cumin seeds
1 Tbs. coriander seeds
3 Tbs. raisins
Zest of medium orange
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 oz. dark chocolate
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
Unbaked double pie crust
Okra, sliced, for garnish
Tomato or red bell pepper, sliced, for garnish
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place vegetables in casserole dish. Drizzle with peanut oil and roast 15 to 20 minutes in oven. (Keep in mind some vegetables roast more quickly.)
Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken to pot; sauté about three minutes on each side until lightly browned, adding more peanut oil as needed. Remove chicken and let sit. Separate cooking juices and discard oil. Return chicken and juices to pot, then add broth and orange juice. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes until chicken is just cooked through.
While chicken cooks, heat one and a half tablespoons of peanut oil in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles, and tear into one-inch pieces, then rinse. Add almonds, garlic, cumin, and coriander, and reduce heat slightly. Sauté until nuts and garlic begin to color, about two minutes. Stir in chiles and cook for about two minutes until they begin to soften.
Transfer chicken to large bowl and coarsely shred it, removing bones. Pour broth mixture into saucepan with onion mixture. Stir in raisins, orange zest, and oregano. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate, honey, and cinnamon. Let stand until chocolate melts and sauce mixture cools slightly, about 15 minutes.
Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree, blending in up to a half cup of flour to thicken molé sauce. Return to reserved pot, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place unbaked crust in lightly buttered, 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Add a layer of molé, then chicken. Follow with another layer of molé, then vegetables, and repeat layering until the pie is full, topping it with molé sauce. Cover with crust. Crimp edges, and trim excess dough. Cut slits in top. Garnish with okra and tomato or bell pepper slices. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and filling bubbles. If necessary, cover edge with foil to prevent burning. Remove from oven and allow to cool for one hour. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese and cilantro.