Recipe: Mexican Mole-Rubbed Chicken with Grilled Vegetables

My mother handed me this Cuisine Favorites Chicken magazine a few weeks ago and I tagged a few pages as I flipped through it, being drawn in by the beautiful photography. This chicken dish caught my eye because my dad’s favorite dish to order at our local Mexican restaurant is the Chicken Mole, a chicken dish served with the complex chile-and-chocolate sauce called mole (MOH-lay)—this dish turns that sauce into an easy-to-mix rub. The rub is sweet and spicy and creates a subtle heat that stays on your tongue while you eat. The vegetables, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grilled and drizzled with lime juice, are so fresh and juicy (as is evident in my picture).

Tried to present a clean plate, but the lime juice-drizzled vegetables were just too fresh and juicy!

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Special equipment needed: Grill (or the equivalent indoor equipment)

Ingredients
For the chicken:

  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar and it worked well)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. cocoa powder

For the vegetables:

  • 1 onion, halved (a red onion could be a great substitution here)
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, halved
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 8 green onions, whole (trim off the roots and cut off an inch or two above the white—the green part has very little flavor)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat the grill to medium-high. If you want to cook directly on the grill, coat the grill grate with oil, otherwise, tear off a piece of aluminum foil to put on the grill grate and plan to cook the food on it.
Combine the chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir the marmalade and vinegar for the chicken together in a large bowl, then coat the chicken breasts in the mixture. Rub the chili powder and cocoa powder mixture into the chicken breast so they’re evenly coated on all sides. Set aside. Toss the vegetables and limes in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put all of the vegetables and the chicken on the grill—grill the chicken until cooked through, and grill the vegetables (turning them once) until they are slightly soft, but still a little crisp, and have golden brown grill marks. Remove the limes from the mixture, then chop all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces and squeeze the limes over the mixture. Serve the chicken alongside the mixed vegetables. If you’re looking for a starch, serve with white or red rice, or lightly-grilled tortillas to help soak up the heat.

This dish is perfect for a warm summer night! Fresh vegetables, seasoned lightly with lime, salt, and pepper are crisp and warm—the perfect compliment to the sweet and spicy chicken. All you need to add is a margarita, mojito, or sangria and it’s a mini fiesta!

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