Peanut Butter Chicken Tacos
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While adding peanut butter to tacos may sound strange, adding seeds and nuts to mole is a common practice because it adds richness and depth to the sauce. By adding a dollop of The Heat Is On peanut butter at the very end, it not only adds some additional heat, it gives the sauce a rich creamy texture and earthy flavor that rounds out the chili pepper and tomato-based sauce.
Because chili peppers tend to vary in heat, if you find that your sauce is too spicy for your tastes, use Smooth Operator peanut butter instead of The Heat Is On when you blend the sauce together.
I like to use homemade corn tortillas for soft tacos. They’re not quite as much work as you might imagine, and you’ll be rewarded with tender, fluffy tortillas that put the tough crumbly disks found in stores to shame.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours
Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Yield: 12 tacos
2 pounds chicken thighs (skin on)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
2 medium onions, sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
4 large dried Guajillo chilies (1.4 ounces)
2 large dried Ancho chilies (1.4 ounces)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 3/4 cups stewed tomatoes (380 g)
1 cup water
1/3 cup The Heat Is On peanut butter
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Honey Roasted Peanuts, roughly chopped
12 corn tortillas
1. Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat until very hot. Add the oil and then place the chicken, skin side down into the pot. If the chicken doesn’t all fit in a single layer, split it between two batches. Fry the chicken until the skin is golden brown and it doesn’t stick to the pot anymore. Flip the chicken over and fry until the other side is browned, then transfer it to a plate.
2. Add the cloves, coriander and cumin seed to the pot and fry until the spices are fragrant (about 1 minute).
3. Add the onions, garlic and salt and turn down the heat to medium low. Let the onions and garlic sauté, stirring regularly until the onions are soft and turning brown.
4. In the meantime, use scissors to cut the tops off the chiles and down one side. Open up the chile and take out all the seeds. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off the outside of the chili, and then tear the chili into small pieces.
5. When the onions are done browning, add the chile peppers. Continue frying until the chili peppers are very fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add the bay leaves, Mexican oregano, stewed tomatoes and water, and then stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot, and then cover with a tight fitting lid. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is extremely tender and falls apart when prodded with a fork. Because stoves and pots vary in the way they cook, you may need to add some water part of the way through cooking. Just check it periodically to make sure it’s not burning. If the liquid is getting low, you can add some more water.
6. Remove the chicken from the pot let it get cool enough to handle. Use a fork to shred the chicken meat (you can discard the skins at this point or leave them in if you like). Skim off any excess oil from the braising liquid, then put the braising liquid into a food processor or blender along with the peanut butter. Puree the sauce. If you’re using a blender, start it off at low speed, as the sudden escape of steam could cause the lid to blow off, flinging hot chili sauce all over your kitchen.
7. Strain the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove bits of chili skin. You’ll need to press it through with a silicone spatula. You’ll have about double the amount of sauce you need, so put half of it in a container and refrigerate. It’s great on grilled chicken or as a condiment.
8. Add the shredded chicken to the remaining sauce and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
9. Serve the chicken with warmed up corn tortillas, chopped peanuts and cilantro.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
From this recipe you’ll have about double the amount of peanut butter mole sauce you need so the rest can be stored in the refrigerator for later. In what ways could you imagine using this mole sauce as a condiment?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of The Heat Is On peanut butter and a can of Honey Roasted Peanuts, the Peanut Butter & Co. products used in this recipe.
– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 05/23/13 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one 16oz jar of The Heat Is On and one can of Honey Roasted Peanuts. Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.