Have you ever been to a restaurant where you have eaten something so mind-blowingly wonderful that you had to beg your waiter to divulge the cook’s secrets to you?
While I like to think of myself as a good cook with a discerning palate, this has been my experience more than once. At such times, I tend to stare at my dish and exclaim with incredulity and awe, what is IN this? Usually audibly and repeatedly, to the annoyance of nearby diners.
A seemingly ordinary dollop of mashed potatoes once threw me off guard with its ridiculous amount of flavor. What is that amazingness coming from? I asked my waiter. Butter? he responded. Hmmm…
Another time, a chicken dish at a favorite restaurant (if you’re in Tucson and do not go to Café Poca Cosa at least once, you’re doing life wrong) has just about made me swoon. Maybe that was partly the dizzying confusion I get when I cannot deconstruct a meal I’m eating? But the constantly rotating menu really has floored me –and it never ceases to amaze. This chicken was covered in a thick chocolate mole sauce. Besides the fact that it had cocoa in it, which I would probably not have guessed if the waitress hadn’t told us, the whole thing was an enigma. A delicious, mouthwatering enigma. My friends might have had shush me a few times.
While the world may never know what was in those heavenly potatoes (although, maybe it was just butter since I don’t generally eat a lot of it…) I have since discovered the secrets of the mole sauce.
For this, the first of at least three Wild Card Wednesday posts, I present to you a wild(ly delicious) recreation of the Café Poca Cosa chocolate mole sauce, complete with instructions to cook the chicken while you do other important things. Like trying to figure out what was in those potatoes…
Chocolate Mole (with slow-cooker chicken recipe)
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. chopped pitted dates or raisins
- 3 medium (12 oz) diced red tomatoes
- 3 T. all natural peanut butter
- 3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth
- 3 T. cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- Sea salt just to taste
- Fresh green onions and/or fresh cilantro, chopped, for finishing
Blend all ingredients together in a blender… and you’re done! Serve hot or cold as a sauce on top of chicken, fish, rice, cooked or raw veggies, (great as a salad dressing!) or in a sandwich.
But my favorite way to use this is to help cook chicken in a slow cooker:
Pour all the sauce into a slow cooker. Place up to four halved chicken breasts into the sauce and cover the slow cooker with a lid. Cook about 7 hours on low heat or 3-4 hours on high heat. In my new Crock Pot, it took 3 hours on high, but temperatures may be slightly different depending on the type and age of your slow cooker.
Serve solo or on top of biscuits, salad (the sauce acts like a dressing!), a sandwich, or a bowl of grains like rice!
Makes approximately 10 servings of sauce.
Nutrition per serving: 83 calories; 4 g fat (1 g saturated); 11 g carbs; 2 g fiber; 2 g protein