Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Blogging Catch-Up & New Belgium Beer

The last four weeks have been filled with home improvement projects (who knew you could spend that much money at Home Depot??), gardening and unfortunately widsom teeth pulling! I've been a little lax on my blogging since March but here's the beginning of catch-up time. In my aforementioned home improvement and gardening projects I had my coutnertops replaced (yipee!!), put together two large and beautiful raised garden beds that will hopefully mean bushel-fulls of fresh veggies this summer and arranged to have the flooring replaced (coming at the end of April). With all of that going on I also needed to have my wisdom teeth pulled (ick) so that was yesterday morning fun, now I'm going to play catch up here, because you can't see my puffy swollen cheeks and I miss having regular blog posts.

Knowing now that I'm playing catch up I warn you that most of the recipes I'll be posting over the coming weeks are not seasonal, they are things that have built up on the camera and in my recipe list for the last few months, but they are still uber tasty! First up on the list, a delicious weeknight meal courtesy of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and New Belgium Beer, a favorite of mine. New Belgium brews up some delicious beers, some of my favorite include Mothership Whit, Fat Tire and the star of today's recipe, Abbey. In searching for a good way to incorporate Abbey into the meal I started contemplating a few options, the ever-tasty beer bread, maybe some kind of marinade, then I realized that I wanted to use it in more than one way so I dug deep and came up with Beer-Poached Chicken Mole tacos. Who doesn't love beer and tacos after all?

Beer-Poached Chicken Mole Tacos

8 Chicken Thighs (Bone-in, Skinless)
1 New Belgium Abbey Beer
1 Dried Ancho Chile
2 Bay Leaves
*Prepared Mole Sauce
1 Large Avocado, Sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro
Pickled Red Onions
Tomato Slices
Corn Tortillas

1. In a large pot/dutch oven place the chicken in the pot with the bay leaves and ancho chile, then pour beer over the top. Bring up to a boil over medium-high heat. Let poach until chicken is cooked through (appx 15 minutes).

2. Set chicken aside, remove bay leaves and chile from the beer. Once chicken has cooled down, shred it with a fork. Place left over poaching liquid in a separate container (you'll need to use it to thin out the mole).

3. Keeping the heat turned off, add mole to the pan, slowly add poaching liquid until you have thinned the mole to desired consistency. I have adopted a practice my mom has with pre-prepared mole, adding about 1.5 Tbsp creamy peanut butter to it. It adds depth of flavor and just makes it a richer tasting dish. Once the mole has reached the consistency you like (I recommend you keep it about the consistency of an alfredo sauce, but not too runny), mix in the chicken.

Serve in tortillas, corn works well, topped with cilantro, onions and avocado slices! Enjoy with your favorite New Belgium Beer. As for the pickled red onions, I used some that my mom posted on her blog, they are addictive, I swear I've been finding ways to use them on everything! Check them out, you'll love them too!

*If you're feeling up to the challenge you can make your own mole, there are a number of fabulous recipes available, on a week night I wasn't all that ambitious and instead I used a great prepared mole sauce and thinned it out with some of the poaching liquid.

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