Following my last exotic Indian hashcapde at Chez Clark, it only seemed fitting to stay in the exotic vein, pushing the boundary to explore the art of hash. So, I channeled an Oaxacan cooking class from Sur la Table to create a flavorful, spicy and veggie-packed dish.
|Pollo, Patata y Chayote en Mole Amarillo Hash
One of Oaxaca’s culinary traditions is mole (pronounced MOH-lay), which simply means sauce. Just as the French have multiple types, so do Oaxacans – black, brown yellow, brick, red, etc. A defining characteristic is the time-consuming preparation – charring ingredients and spices – soaking chiles – blending till silky smooth. And as far as ingredients go, chiles anchor a mole, like these charred guajillo chiles soaking in hot water.
|Oaxacan cooking involves charring the ingredients for moles.
|Charred Guajillo chiles soaking in water.
Important lessons I’ve learned, having made this dish (not hash style) multiple times are to: 1) use guajillo chiles, 2) use masa or corn flour for the thickener, and 3) allow plenty of time. I once substituted dried New Mexico chiles and created a mole so spicy, it made Secret Aardvark Sauce seem tame by comparison!
|Chayote in “Little Shop of Horrors”
The new lesson I learned on this hashcapade is that chayote (pronounced chai-YO-tay) is a dangerous man-eating vegetable, almost bit off my arm! Fortunately, I have mad ninja skills and put it in its place, sulking with the potatoes on the cutting board. Actually, you’ll be impressed with the texture and luscious goodness of chayote. In fact, I’m going to follow the Wikipedia reference above and drive some julienned in lime juice for a salad sometime – yum!
|Pollo, Patata y Chayote en Mole Amarillo Hash – Take 2
This hash came together in about 2 hours, with the majority spent making the mole as other elements cooked in parallel. Rich, smoky, Oaxacan flavors permeated the hash with the squeaky beans providing a nice surprise with the softer potato, chayote and chicken. Cotija cheese
and cilantro gave the dish extra punch. After this photo, I poured more mole on top – holy frijoles! Check out the recipe below…
Ever been to Oaxaca? Tell me about it!
Pollo, Patata Y Chayote en Mole Amarillo Hash
The sequencing of this is set out below to minimize time by doing steps in parallel and reusing boiled stock. I’ll try to call out what’s going on when.
1 lb chicken breast, with skin
1 head of garlic, scored around the center
1/2 yellow, roughly chopped
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
> Place above in large pot, covering with water by at least an inch
> Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes
NOTE: The next two sections can be done while waiting for boi1 and simmer
Mole Amarillo – Chiles
6 dried guajillo chiles, halved, seeded and veins removed
2 cups of hot water to cover
> On medium high heat, char chiles on both sides, so that it looks leathery, but not burnt
> Remove chiles and rinse in cold water, then place in bowl with hot water, immersing chiles
> Soak for at least 20 minutes, saving the chili soaking water for the sauce itself
Mole Amarillo – Onion, Garlic &Tomatillo + Spices
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1/4 yellow onion, chopped roughly
2 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
> In the same heated pan, char the garlic, onions and tomatillos until blistered, black in some places
> Remove and put in a separate bowl
2 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano
> In the same heated pan, briefly smoke the spices, remove as cumin seeds start to pop or before oregano is blackened
> Remove and put in a ramekin
Potatoes, Chayote and Beans
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled, 1/2 inch dice
1 Chayote, peeled, 1/2 inch dice
4 oz fresh green beans, chopped to 1/2 inch lengths
> In the same pot used for the chicken, bring water back to boil, then add potatoes and Chayote
> Cook for about 10-12 minutes, then add green beans for another 5 minutes
> Potatoes and chaoyote should be tender, but not mushy. Beans should be firm, not soft.
> Remove them with a slotted spoon, place in a medium bow, keeping the broth for the Mole
Mole Amarillo – Making the Sauce
> Add 1 cup of the chili soaking water to a blender
> Peel the charred garlic, then add that plus rest of charred onion, tomatillos and spices
> Blend on high until smooth, then add the chiles and puree until smooth
1 Tbsp lard (traditional) or vegetable oil
> Heat a heavy pan to medium-high, add the lard, then pour in the sauce from the blender
> Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pan, for about 8-10 minutes
1/4 cup masa flour
> Add 1 cup of vegetable/chicken broth to the blender
> Add 1/4 cup of masa and blend thoroughly
> Stir in masa mixture into the cooking sauce and add 1 more cup of the vegetable/chicken broth
> Reduce to medium and cook mole until it starts to thicken and let simmer for about 15 minutes
> Season to taste – I used Maldon sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup cotija cheese
> Slowly add just enough of the finished mole into the bowl of chicken, chayote and beans to coat
> It should be just enough help the mixture bind and be sticky for plating
> Add 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped cilantro to the bowl and mix gently
> On the plates, spoon more mole on the plate in a circle bigger that the food ring
> Using a 4″ diameter, 2″ high food ring, pack in the hash and garnish with more cilantro and cotija
> Spoon additional mole over hash as desired
NOTE: Makes 2-3 servings, depending on size of food ring