I was invited to set the weekly food challenge for a Facebook group to which I belong, so I suggested cooking with red wine and chocolate (you know, actually putting them in the food. So I got home from Tasmania on Saturday and made a mess in the kitchen on Mother's Day making this at home... (Got up the next morning, cleaned up the mess, and flew to Brisbane...)
A mole is a Mexican sauce, and a chocolate chilli sauce with chicken is a Mexican thing. I looked at a number of recipes and then adapted one from Gordon Ramsay (the one in Canberra)
Here's my adaptation
2 litres of chicken stock
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsps black peppercorns
2 tsps raspberry vinegar
1 bottle red wine
40g dark bitter chocolate
4-5 dried Ancho chillies
8 garlic cloves
Cut open the dried chillies and remove seeds. Toast on a hot, ungreased pan for a few seconds each side. Add hot water and redydrate for 30 mins. Toast unpeeled garlic cloves in the pan until blackening. Drain chillies and puree with garlic in a food processor. If you don't have dried Mexican chillies, you'll have to experiment with fresh chillies or dried. Just remember to add them later in the reduction process below, otherwise the whole thing will be far too hot.
Saute shallots and garlic in a small bit of butter. Add thyme, bayleaf and peppercorns and cook until softened. Deglaze pan with raspberry vinegar and then pour in wine. Add chilli and garlic puree. Boil until reduced to about 100ml - syrupy in consistency.
Add chicken stock and boil until reduced by 3/4 to about 600ml. Pour through a sieve. Return to pan, add the chocolate and stir until melts. If needed, thicken with a little cornflour. Do not allow to boil.
So I served up chicken breast pieces coated in smoked paprika and Mexican oregano, honeyed carrots, oven-baked green capsicum and shallots, an apple and parsnip puree, and sauted chorizo in an apple cider reduction. It worked wonderfully well if I do say so myself... Accompanied by a glass of Sevenhill Chenin Blanc from the Clare Valley.
I had decided to try a red wine and chocolate dessert too, so this is an adapted version of a Stephanie Alexander Recipe.
Heat 1 bottle of red wine, 1 vanilla bean and 1 cinnamon stick, simmer for 5 mins. Allow to cool and add 500g pitted prunes. Soak for at least 4 hours, then drain.
Melt dark chocolate. Dip prunes in chocolate and serve with whipped cream. Stephanie does a brandy-egg cream, but at that stage I couldnt be bothered. Gosh this was tasty! Happy Mother's Day!