Sauteed Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce and Cilantro Rice

Simmer chicken breasts in an easy version of mole sauce made with peanut butter, cocoa and spices.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups medium-grain white rice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 1/2 tablespoons chile powder (preferably ancho)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Puree 1 cup of the cilantro with 13/4 cups water in a blender.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 1 minute. Add the cilantro water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, undisturbed, until the rice is tender and absorbs all the liquid, about 18 minutes. Let stand, covered, until ready to serve. Fluff with a fork and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro before serving.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the five-spice, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and partially cooked through, 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chile powder, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon five-spice and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup water and stir to combine. Add the nut butter, soy sauce, sugar, and cocoa powder and whisk until combined. Add 1 more cup water and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer, flipping occasionally, until it is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 12 minutes. Serve the chicken and mole sauce with the cilantro rice on the side.