mole negro de Oaxaca proved to be quite the challenge for #4 and #4.5. We saw #3’s mole post and, we admit, were intimidated. Also intimidating were the sheer number of ingredients needed to do this recipe justice. But after trips to three different grocery stores, a whole lot of googling, and 6 hours in our cave-like micro-kitchen, we came up with Duck-Fat Mole Negro tacos and pizza to follow. We made enough mole for a small village in Oaxaca so had to come up with something good to finish off this rather unappetizing looking sauce (condiment apparently in Mexico). The sauce is incredibly complex and we must say, unbelievable. The pizza was AAAAAMAZING. Surprisingly better than the Duck tacos. Anyway, without further-ado Nearsch I hope you don’t mind that we did see you playing with your dolls again and decided to go over your helmet!
The recipes that we used for inspiration in creating the mole duck tacos are from the following links: This one was a great – we pretty much stuck to it (check out the site for more details). And the Second
- 2 fresh duck breasts
- 6-10 chilie mulatos
- 6-10 ancho chilies
- 5 Big Guajillo chilies
- canola oil
- handful of slivered almonds
- handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
- handful of pecans
- handful of peanuts
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp mexican oregano (if you’ve never tried this – we highly recommend)
- 1.5 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbs sesame seeds
- 1 freshly ground star anise
- 3 cloves
- a pinch of whole black peppercorns
- 2 large plantains
- 2 medium tomatoes roasted
- 3 big tomatillos quartered and roasted
- 6 cloves of garlic roasted
- 1 medium onion roasted
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- mexican chocolate (we used 1 vanilla flavor and 1 guajillo chili flavored)
- 1 tbs of sugar
- 2 tbs kosher salt
- 1 cup flour
Again – refer to “just a pinch” for more direction details… We pretty much found ourselves cooking one section of the ingredient list then pureeing it and setting it aside – then repeating that step with the next thing…
1. clean the dried chilies off then slice them to remove all the seeds and inside bits. bring the chilies to a boil on the stove top for 5 minutes then let steep for 10 minutes with the heat off – save the chili water. Blend the chilies into a puree in the blender using some of the chili water (don’t throw out the all the chili water just yet).
2. Next roast the veggies all together. don’t let them char. We cubed the tomatillos and the onion was halved. Then after about 5-7 minutes pull the veggies out and puree them together – set aside. except for 2 garlic cloves save those for later when you are blending the nuts.
3. Get your nuts ready. all nuts mixed together. Same with the plantains – slice them up and prepare them for step 5.
4. Here’s where the duck comes in. You want to render the fat from the duck breast by using a cast iron skillet, heated up to high. Salt the duck then set the breasts down on the hot skillet and leave them for 3 or 4 minutes to get some solid searing action. Flip the once and let them go another 3 minutes. Each side of the duck should be nicely seared and a bunch of duck fat should be rendered into the hot cast iron skillet. put the duck on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 300 degrees to slowly cook while you work on the mole.
5. turn the heat down a sprig and then add the nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds). stir and be sure not to burn them. remove when they are nice and golden brown. Next, throw the plantains in the skillet and cook til nicely golden.
6. heat up a fresh new pan – when ready, add the spices to toast until fragrant. We wish we had used cumin seeds but alas somehow they were left off the list- we just added powdered cumin later to the puree. So this would be the sesame seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppercorns, & star anise. blend these all into a powder then mix with the oregano, thyme, and marjoram.
7. heat up the chicken broth in a saucepan. then blend 1 cup of the broth with the ground spices, the pureed veggies, and the fried plantains. set aside. next blend the nut mixture with 2 cloves of roasted garlic, 1/2 cup of the chili water, and 2 packs of mexican chocolate ( we used 1 tab of vanilla, 1 tab of guajillo). set aside.
8. somehow manage to mix everything together totally. We just stirred forever in our big dutch-oveny iron pot thing that we have from my grandma. All the purees need to get mixed together – the chilies, the veggies, the nuts/spices/chocolate.
9. make a roux (see step 6 of just a pinch) then add it to the puree. then slowly while stirring add the chicken broth. Taste the mole and add the sugar and more salt if needed. simmer with occasional stirring for 40 minutes. Should be savory, complex, and delicious.
SAUCE IS DONE!!!! And this post is Looooong – still some to go…
Remember the duck? It is still in the oven! Pull it out and shred it up. Warm up some corn tortillas, slice up some avocados, dice some cilantro (it was 11:15 pm at this point so we skipped out on some toppings…) Check it out! We certainly do not win any prizes for food photography. Luckily I got a new camera and we can hopefully turn that around.