CHICKEN MOLE

I am desperately seeking a recipe for chicken mole. I've lost my favorite recipe, which was quite simple and, if memory serves me correctly, called for unsweetened chocolate, peanut butter, minced hot chili pepper, chicken and either a can of tomatoes or tomato sauce. I would appreciate it if you know of any mole recipes that you could forward.

Joan Allen

Baltimore

These recipes appeared in an article by Alexandra Greeley in The Washington Post Food section in 1996. They appear to be a perfect match to Allen's request.

Mole al Estilo Moctec

(Moctec-Style Mole)

(4 servings)

This is a family recipe from Victor Vazquez, founder of Moctec Enterprises in Hyattsville. Vazquez suggests serving the dish with Mexican rice or pilaf and green beans.

3- to 4-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 large white onion, diced

4 small cloves garlic, minced

15-ounce can tomato puree

3 cups chicken broth or water

3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

3/4 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons slivered almonds

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until very hot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken to the skillet. Do not crowd the pan; you may need to cook the chicken in batches. Cook, covered if necessary to avoid splatters, until browned on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the oil and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato puree and chicken broth or water to the skillet and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Add the peanut butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the chili powder, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. The mixture should have a balance between the heat of the chili powder, the sweetness of the peanut butter and the bitter edge of the chocolate.

Add the sesame seeds, almonds, cinnamon and cloves and stir until thoroughly combined. Return the chicken to the skillet, cover and simmer until the meat begins to fall off the bones, about 45 minutes.

Per serving: 745 calories, 59 gm protein, 20 gm carbohydrates, 48 gm fat, 148 mg cholesterol, 11 gm saturated fat, 428 mg sodium

Mexican-Style Green Beans

(4 servings)

1 pound fresh green beans or two 9-ounce packages frozen green beans, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups chopped tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the green beans in a bowl and cover with water. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until all of the moisture has evaporated.

Add the green beans and the soaking water to the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are tender. Serve immediately.

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