Chicken In Mole, Puebla Style

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Ingredients for 8 servings

4 pounds chicken pieces, skin on

Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish

white rice

Makes 9 cups.

9 mulato chiles*

7 pasilla chiles*

6 ancho chiles*

1 cup plus 9 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard plus additional as needed

4 or 5 tomatillos,** husked and cooked until soft

5 whole cloves

20 whole black peppercorns

1-inch piece of a Mexican cinnamon stick***

1 tablespoon seeds from the chiles, toasted

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted

8 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

4 garlic cloves, roasted

3 tablespoons raisins

20 whole almonds, blanched

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds****

2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces

3 stale French rolls, cut into 1-inch slices

6 to 7 cups reserved chicken broth as needed

1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped

*Mulato, pasilla, and ancho chiles are three varieties of dried chiles often used in Mexican cooking. The ancho chile (a poblano that has ripened to a dark red color and dried) is rust-colored, broad at the stem and narrowing to a triangular tip. The mula

**Tomatillos are often referred to as "green tomatoes," but are members of the gooseberry family. To prepare tomatillos for the salsa, remove their papery husks and rinse away their sticky outer coating. Or, canned whole tomatillos are available under the

***Mexican cinnamon, known as canela, is the bark of the true cinnamon tree, native to Sri Lanka. It is sold in very thin and somewhat flaky curled sticks and is much softer than the more common variant of cinnamon, which comes from the bark of the cassia

****Also known as pepitas, the pumpkin seeds used in Mexican cooking are hulled. When frying or toasting pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet, keep a cover handy, as they will pop like popcorn.

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