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From The AICR Test Kitchen: Simple Chicken Mole

AICR Test Kitchen StampTired of the usual box of high-calorie chocolates on Valentine’s Day? This time, expand your chocolate horizons by serving our main dish recipe for Chicken Mole to your sweetheart.

A Mexican mole sauce uses unsweetened chocolate or cocoa. On the spectrum of chocolate, unsweetened cocoa or dark chocolate are the healthiest kinds, providing phytochemicals called “phenols” that may protect against cancer and promote some aspects of heart health. Milk chocolate contains smaller amounts of these phenol compounds; white chocolate does not contain any.

Adding cocoa to this sauce or to chili creates a deep savory flavor, especially when combined with tomatoes, garlic and onions, all cancer-fighting ingredients. This recipe also uses cumin, coriander and chili powder and adds the rich taste of almonds and raisins.

Sauteed bell peppers and broccoli on the side, plus some steamed brown rice, can turn this excellent entrée into a healthy favorite that says “I love you.”

In a Mexican mole sauce, the chocolate isn’t even sweetened. Sliced red peppers, sauteed onions and grated carrots are delicious accompaniments for this chicken with chocolatey sauce. Ladle it over some steamed brown rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Chicken MoleSimple Chicken Mole

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 3 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle or regular chili powder
  • 1/4 cup no-sodium diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted for 3-4 minutes
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In large skillet, heat tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken to pan and saute, turning once, until cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, cover with foil and place in oven to keep warm.

Add remaining oil to pan. Add onion to skillet and sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, cocoa powder and chili powder, stirring to coat onions well. Add tomatoes, almonds, raisins, broth and salt. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to blender and puree until smooth, adding more chicken broth if needed, for desired consistency. Place chicken on serving dish and pour sauce over top. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 180 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 7 g carbohydrates,
21 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 280 mg sodium.

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