For those who can handle a little heat, this piquant mole is from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Add a dollop of yogourt or sour cream to reduce the fiery kick. Canned tomatillos and dried ancho chili peppers are available in the ethnic foods section of many stores. If available, goat meat would be an excellent meat for this intensely flavoured dish.

3 to 4 dried ancho chili peppers
1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1 - 14 oz (400 mL) can tomatillos, about 8 to 10, drained and quartered
1/4 cup (60 mL) walnuts or almonds
1 medium apple, diced
1 medium pear, diced
1 cup (250 mL) pineapple chunks
Plain yogourt or sour cream (optional)

Remove stem and seeds from ancho chilies and soak in warm water for 30 minutes.

In large saucepan, bring 2 cups (500 mL) of water to a boil. Toss in chicken, bay leaf, and salt. Simmer covered for 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, flipping halfway. Remove chicken from pan and discard liquid and bay leaf.

Return pot to stove and heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Add sweet potato cubes to pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove potato from pan and heat remaining oil.

Cook onion until soft, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic, spices, and tomatillos. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Drain chilies and place in blender or food processor along with tomatillo mixture, nuts, and 1 cup (250 mL) of water. Process until smooth. Place mole in pan along with chicken, potato, apple, pear, and pineapple; heat for 5 minutes.

Place on serving plates and top with a dollop of yogourt or sour cream if desired. Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 416 calories; 27 g protein; 18 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 41 g carbohydrates; 10 g fibre; 415 mg sodium

source: "One-Pot Wonders", alive #337, November 2010

About the Author

Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD, is an Ontario-based dietitian and food writer. muffintinmania.com