The Las Vegas Review-Journal and La Bonita Supermarkets have teamed up to bring the Virtual Food & Cocktail series into your kitchen. The original air date for Episode 2 took place on May 13, 2021. La Bonita’s Chef La Che prepared chicken with mole sauce, delicious homemade tortillas and featured a traditional margarita recipe demonstrated by Nick Polydoroff from Herradurra Tequila. Learn more and register for future episodes, including summertime ceviche, Latin grilling, homemade tamales and mix up some delicious cocktails at reviewjournal.com/cooking.
Here’s a bit of trivia surrounding the Episode 2 menu and ingredients that will expand your culinary knowledge and wow friends and family as you cook.
Mole sauce is the traditional Mexican cuisine classic sauce. While the exact origin of mole sauce is unknown, some argue that its origins date back to pre-hispanic Mexico to the time of the Aztecs. Others say that mole sauce originated in Puebla or Oaxaca, Mexico. Regardless of its source, mole has been highly influenced by family tradition and local preference over the years. Mole sauce ranges in color, ingredient type and amount of ingredients (some have well over 30 ingredients!), and consistency.
Mole poblano, native to the state of Puebla, is the most well-known of all mole varieties. The national dish of Mexico comes packed with approximately 20 ingredients, including chocolate, and is often served over turkey. Most mole sauces contain fruit, chili peppers, nuts, several different spices, and (sometimes) chocolate, and there are seven different kinds of mole sauces. At La Bonita, you will find five different sauces. The most popular is mole poblano, which is what Chef La Che uses in Episode 2.
Corn tortillas are traditionally made with corn flour, otherwise known as masa. Mayan legend is that the tortilla was a gift from the Mayans to a very hungry king over 12,000 years ago. Corn tortillas were part of the Mayan and Aztec diet. It is customary to cook tortillas on a smooth, flat griddle, also known as a comal. One hundred twenty million tortillas are consumed every year in America.
Traditional margaritas have tequila, orange liquor, lime juice and a salt-rimmed glass. The margarita is related to the famous Mexican drink called “The Daisy.” This drink became popular during the prohibition era as US residents traveled to Mexico for alcohol. Mixologist Nick Polydoroff used Herradura Tequila to make the traditional margarita in the video. Herradura Tequila was founded in 1870, and they created the first Reposado tequila in 1974. Herradura ages its silver tequila for 45 days in oak barrels, unlike most silver tequilas, which are unaged.
Spanish Rice Recipe
- 2 tablespoon olive oil.
- 2 tablespoon chopped white onion.
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups chunky tomato sauce (Follow step 1 to make this sauce.)
- 6 Roma tomatoes
- 1 1/2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Step 1 – How to make the chunky tomato sauce. – Put tomatoes, onions and garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse until there is a chunky sauce and reserve.
- Step 2 – Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes then add the garlic and stir for 2-3 more minutes until fragrant.
- Step 3 – Mix rice into the skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth, chunky tomato sauce and add salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 min. or until liquid has been absorbed.
Chicken Mole Recipe
- 4 whole chicken legs
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ white onion
- 1 celery stick cut into 2-3 pieces
- 2 parsley or cilantro sprigs
- 1 gallon of water
- 2 tablespoons LA BONITA mole paste
- 5 tablespoons chicken bouillon
Cooking the Chicken
- Step 1 – Place the chicken pieces in a stockpot with the garlic, onion, celery stick and parsley (or cilantro), add 2 tablespoons of mole paste. Cover with water.
- Step 2 – Place the pot over medium-high heat, and once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes until the chicken meat is cooked and tender.
- Step 3 – Season with chicken bouillon and set aside. This chicken broth is what we will use to dilute the mole paste.
Making the Mole Sauce
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 white onion, cut into thick slices
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 toasted corn tortilla
- 16 oz. LA BONITA mole paste (minus the 2 tablespoons for the chicken)
- ¼ tablet Mexican chocolate
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground anise seed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Instructions to Prepare the La Bonita MOLE SAUCE
- Step 1 – Place the pre-boiled vegetables for the sauce, the toasted tortilla in your blender. Process until you have a fine sauce. Set aside.
- Step 2 – Place a large frying pan over low heat and add the vegetable sauce, the remaining of the La Bonita Mole paste, and the chicken broth to start diluting the paste.
- Step 3 – Add the chocolate, ground cinnamon and ground anise seed. Stir well until the mole paste and the chocolate has completely dissolved. Add more broth as needed, since the paste will get thicker as it continues cooking.
- Step 4 – Some people like their sauce thicker than others, regulate the amount of chicken broth used in order to achieve the thickness you like. Traditional mole sauce has the consistency of a thick gravy.
- Step 5 – Taste to verify salt. If it needs more salt you may add salt or bouillon.
- Step 6 – On a deep serving platter arrange the 4 chicken leg pieces and pour the mole sauce over chicken making sure they are all cover.
- Step 7 – Drizzle with the sesame seeds
Serve with rice and warm homemade corn tortillas
Homemade Corn Tortillas
This recipe is to make corn tortillas with La Bonita’s corn masa (dough) already made.
- 1 pound La Bonita Corn Tortillas Masa (Already Made Dough)
- 1 tortilla press
- 1 tortilla warmer
- 2 pieces of plastic (Cut the dough bag into two pieces, or a large Ziplock freezer bag, so that it fits the size of the tortilla press.)
- 1 non-stick skillet or comal
- Step 1 – Take the dough out of the bag and place it in a large bowl. Knead a little. The texture should feel springy and firm, similar to Play-Doh.
- Step 2 – Use a tablespoon or a medium ice cream scoop to portion the dough into a 2 tablespoon balls, then use your hands to roll the ball until it is nice and round.
- Step 3 – Place the dough ball between the two pieces of plastic in the tortilla press.
- Step 4 – Then gently press the dough ball until it forms.
- Step 5 – Heat a non-stick skillet or comal over medium-high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, gently peel the tortilla away from the plastic wrap and lay the tortilla flat in the skillet.
- Step 6 – Cook the tortilla for about 40-60 seconds per side, flipping it once speckled brown spots begin to appear on the bottom of the tortilla. The tortillas will likely bubble up while cooking.
- Step 7 – Once it is cooked, transfer the tortilla to a tortilla warmer or a bowl wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, so the tortillas do not dry out.
- Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
- 2 ounces Herradura Tequila
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- 0.75 ounces agave nectar
- 1 lime wedge (garnish)
- Step 1 – Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice
- Step 2 – Shake hard so that some of the ice melts
- Step 3 – Strain over fresh ice
- Step 4 – Garnish with lime wedge
Enjoy the video and don’t forget to share your completed dishes and virtual gatherings on social media by tagging photos with the hashtag #rjcooking.
For more information or to register for future episodes, click here.
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were involved in the creation of this content.