The leaves are changing, the heat is subsiding, and fall is finally upon us! Though we’re a bit sad to see the days grow shorter, we’re happy to have an excuse for comfy clothes, hearty meals, and full-bodied wines.
Living in California, our family is fortunate enough to experience several different cultures and their accompanying cuisines. And like many, we have a particular place in our heart for Mexican food. Combine this affinity for spice with the newly chilled weather, and you have a calling for a big ol’ pot of Mexican mole!
Mexican mole is rich, spicy, and packed full of striking flavor; and no wine pairs with it as well as our Petite Sirah. With the perfect blend of fruity, peppery flavors, the Petite Sirah stands up to the exotic herbs and spices in this lustrous dish ever-so-perfectly.
Try this pairing soon for a warm, fuzzy feeling—guaranteed.
- 1 chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 6 pieces
- 5 black peppercorns
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 6 dried guajillo chile peppers
- 4 dried ancho chile peppers
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup whole blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
- 2 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into pieces
- 1 2.7-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, broken into pieces
- Pinch of sugar
Put the chicken and peppercorns in a large pot, cover with water and season with salt. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat and cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and set the cooking liquid aside.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing, until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish and transfer the rest to a blender. In the same skillet, toast the cloves, cinnamon stick, and anise and coriander seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to the blender.
Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers. Heat 4 tablespoons canola oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and fry until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with hot water and set aside to soak until pliable, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds and tortilla pieces to the oil in the skillet and cook, stirring, until the seeds and tortillas are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add to the blender along with the oil from the skillet. Add the softened chiles and puree, pouring in 2 to 3 cups of the soaking liquid to make a thick, smooth sauce.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 4 cups of the reserved chicken cooking liquid and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Add the chocolate and simmer, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts and the sauce reduces, about 20 more minutes. Add the sugar and season with salt.
Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and warm through over low heat. Garnish with the reserved sesame seeds.
Serve with Weibel Petite Sirah and enjoy!
*recipe and photo courtesy of foodnetwork.com