Chicken in Peanut Sauce: Pollo Encacahuatado
Moles and other thick sauces made with nuts and seeds go best with chicken and pork. This recipe is from the town of Huauchinango, Puebla, set in a cloud forest not far from the Puebla-Veracruz border. It is a specialty of the small family restaurants in the area.
- 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
- 4 tablespoons lard or corn oil, divided
- 2 roma tomatoes, roasted and peeled
- 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 cup shelled peanuts, skins removed
- 1 ancho chile, seeded, deveined and soaked in warm water until soft
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt to taste
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and saute it in 2 tablespoons of the lard or oil until golden. While the chicken is sauteing, make the sauce.
Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic, with a little water, until smooth. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard or oil in a large saucepan, add the tomato puree, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Liquify the peanuts, chile and cinnamon with the chicken broth, add this mixture to the tomato puree and continue cooking another 5 minutes.
Transfer the chicken into the pan containing the sauce, cover and cook over low heat for 35-40 minutes.
Serve in shallow bowls, accompanied by fresh, hot tortillas.