Pulled Chicken Taco – stout beer mole
Sunday’s the day! For the first time the temperature will rise above 20°C, which, according to meteorologists, means the official start of the BBQ season! We know better than that. My BBQ has already produced more smoke than the average young senior Russian Lada driver was able to squeeze out of his car in the last couple of months. But even us BBQ lovers are not immune for the glory of the spring sun!The days are getting longer which makes it just that little bit more attractive to light the BBQ on a workday and smoke a summery dish to put on our table. A Pulled chicken taco for example. Not just any taco by the way, but one with a delicious stout beer based mole. Curious? #Readon
Disclaimer: This recipe was sponsored by and developed for Herkules Bouillon. All opinions expressed are personal and sincere.
A tasty Mexican mole lies at the base of the success of Mexican cuisine. Although these sauces or marinades seem very simple yet sometimes rather strange, they bring a taste explosion in the dish. Yet they are often not as simple as they seem. The right balance is essential to bring out the subtlety of each ingredient. Too much chocolate makes it bitter and heavy, too much lime makes it sour and unpleasant, … It’s a bit of a search to find your own balance each time, but if you succeed, the mole can add real value to your pulled chicken Taco. So when preparing a mole like this Stout beer mole, dare to taste and adjust to your own taste. Much can depend from the ingredients you use to find your own balance.
I didn’t come up with the idea for this recipe all by myself. The fantastic blog The Beeroness brings delicious recipes to my heart. Cooking with beer is an art. One nailed by this lady. I’d love to scroll through her blog to get inspired for some new recipes. When Herkules (broth) asked me to develop a dish with their chicken broth, I immediately thought about this Stout mole. Instead of making beer brased chicken in the oven, I decided to smoke the chicken and braise it in chicken stock for a deeper chicken flavor. The stout beer mole (with slight modifications of my own) already brings a lot of flavour to this dish, which made it seem superfluous to me to braise the chicken in the beer as well. I also wanted to temper the intense flavors with some fresh hints of sour cream, lime and avocado which led to the delicious sour avocado cream in the recipe.
The result turned out to be a delicious Pulled chicken taco with a surprising evolution in flavours. The pulled chicken braised in chicken stock had a powerful light smoked taste and was very juicy. Although I had expected the children (and especially my eldest son) to find the sauce rather special, strangely enough they enjoyed their meal to the fullest. A success as it turns out! So maybe you shouldn’t wait till sunday but start your smokers tonight and lure the spring sun to your garden with this delicious meal! Have fun.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 sweet bell peppers without seeds
- Pasilla, chipotle morita, new mex red optional (available online)
- 1 handful of raisins
- 200 ml. tomato puree
- 200 ml. stout beer
- 100 ml. Herkules chicken broth
- 1 handful of chopped and roasted pecan nuts
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 150 gr. dark chocolate
- lime juice to taste
- Chicken marinade e.g. santa maria to taste
- 800 gr. chicken thighs
- 1 l. Herkules chicken stock
- 150 grams sour cream
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 1 handful of coriander
- pepper and salt to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- Tortilla sheets
- Beer mole sauce or any other tomato sauce of your choice
- Sour avocado cream
- fresh lime to taste
- fresh coriander to taste
Marinate the chicken in the marinade for at least 4 hours.
Prepare your BBQ for an indirect session at low temperature (+-100°C). Add a few cubes of wood between the coals to smoke the chicken. To work indirectly, make sure a heat shield is placed between the chicken and the coals.
Place an ovenproof dish or cast iron pan on the BBQ. Add the chicken legs and slowly cook until the chicken falls apart.
While the chicken cooks slowly you can prepare the sauce. First soak the chillies in lukewarm water for ten minutes, so that they can absorb moisture again (tip the chillies can be found online and provide extra flavour).
Place a cast iron pan on the fire and add the oil. Fry the cinnamon so that it can release its flavor while the pan heats up.
Fry the onion and then add the paprika cut into julienne together with the chillies and the chili powder.
Stir in the tomato puree and leave to fry.
Deglaze with the stock and stout beer. Let the sauce simmer for 1 hour.
Roast the nuts in a dry pan and add to the sauce together with the dark chocolate and peanut butter. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and blend thoroughly to obtain a smooth sauce. Taste and season with lime, pepper and salt to taste until the sauce is balanced.
Add all the ingredients to a measuring cup and blend to a smooth sauce. Taste and season with salt pepper and lime.
Fry the tortilla sheets briefly. Pull the chicken and place it on the sheets.
Garnish with the sour cream and mole sauce. Chop some fresh coriander on top and squeeze some lime juice over it.