Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chicken Molé (GiryaGirl)

When I am not prepping for a competition, which has now been 7 months, the longest period of “off season” time in years, I will stick to a clean and healthy diet 90% of the time. I will also allow myself treats like going out to eat cheeseburgers and fries (probably my favorites), some wine, some chocolate and lots of nut butters. 

I’m not a junk food junkie and never have been, so I don’t miss pizza (in fact there are very few commercial pizza’s I even like), I make my own excellent thin pizza (now David is going to want some, he can live off it), nor do I miss chips and cookies. I think a big part of it is that I do think about what goes in my body and I see what it does, I react very quickly to foods. I work hard to look good so when I see the negative effects, It really makes an impression on me.

I am a firm believer in whole foods, although I completely understand the benefits of a whey shake and simple carbs after training and take advantage of the anabolic effects. 

Diet foods, fat free foods and packaged foods modified to be lighter and less caloric are not often on my table. Cheese; yes, as it’s made with part skim milk, but that’s really it.  I will eat some fabulous foods in the off season but I still adhere to my schedule of several small meals, always a protein source (I eat fattier off season), always ample vegetables and only some starches in a couple of those meals.

I find that so many people lack imagination and think that they must stick to the tried and true, boring and bland diets. Like: Mexican is so fattening. Well, if you eat the flour tortillas, the re fried beans and all the cheese and loads of guacamole yes, it is. But you can make grilled vegetables and beef, chicken or fish and combine it with two 100% corn tortillas and have a very, very healthy and balanced meal. Top it with all the fresh salsa you want and a small amount of avocado and it's great.

So…..recently I was reading, a site I enjoy quite a bit. Adrienne posted a healthy chicken Molé recipe made in the slow cooker. You know I love chocolate, and I love spices so, Molé has always been on my list of favorites. This had "Kristy" written all over it.

I decided to make the entire batch, 4 pounds of chicken because I would eat it for lunch, and freeze a bit for later. I used a whole chicken (light and dark) but would typically use only breast meat if really watching calories. 

I changed the method of preparation only because I have a VitaMix and it is made to process large amounts of whole foods, so I dumped all the Mole ingredients (everything but the chicken) right into that, pulsed it till smooth and ever so slightly chunky and voila, Molé sauce!  (I cannot express how much I love my VitaMix).

You can find the recipe on Adrienne’s site and I have also included a link to a word document at the bottom of this post so that you can easily print it out if you like.

The plate at the top is my dinner. It is two pieces of chicken slathered in rich, spicy sauce  along with broccoli and avocado. Below is David's, he has no broccoli but a Mexican Curtido (pickled cabbage) that he made; along with some brown rice. I totally forgot to add chopped cilantro to it and it bummed me out because I love cilantro! Don't skip it!!

First step was roughly chopping the ingredients, so I put it all into the Vitamix and then pulsed and pureed it to a nice consistency (this is before pureeing). 

Then I got out my behemoth of a slow cooker. I really need to come up with a name for this thing, it's huge! 

The whole, cut up chicken went in, bones but NO SKIN! 

I poured in the sauce. I chose to keep it slightly chunky, it's all personal preference,  so blend it  more if you want it silky and smooth.

Mixed it well with the chicken to ensure the sauce thoroughly coats all the chicken.

I set it on low and let it cook for 7 hours. It looks stunning doesn't it? The guys were sitting in the living room watching James Bond....Cooper was home for the Thanksgiving break. I called into them "Hey, come try my Molé!" 

They acquiesce because they are always being asked to try my diet foods and they are troopers. They are also quite familiar with my saying:

"If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"

So they both walked in, very un enthusiastically and took their little bowls and forks I offered.

And they tasted.

"This is GREAT!!!" Cooper says. He asks for more. "Wow!" says David. "Good. Really, really good!"

They ask if we are having it for dinner and I explain  "no, it's for me, for my lunches".  

Cooper asks if I will make it when he comes home for the Christmas break, and David wants it before then. I end up eating it once for one dinner with David. Cooper has gone back to school with half of it and David has eaten the remainder for his lunches.

I am excited. Something healthy, delicious, SLOW COOKED, easy and did I say Molé?

Here is a link to a Word document so you can easily print it out.