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3 small dried pasilla chilies
3 small dried mulatto chilies
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 whole cloves
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/8 teaspoon whole anise seed
1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole unblanched almonds
1/4 raisins
6 whole chicken legs, thighs attached (about 3 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 ounces Mexican Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken stock or broth
Tomato wedges
Fresh coriander sprigs

Toast, seed, devein and rinse pasilla and mulatto chilies. Place
in medium bowl with boiling water, let stand one hour.

Toast sesame seeds in dry heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring
frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet.
Combine cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and anise seeds in
skillet, toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they
start to change color and become fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove
from skillet.

Heat lard in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add almonds,
cook and stir until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with slotted
spoon, drain on paper toweling. Add raisins, cook and stir until
puffed, about 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon. Sprinkle
chicken with salt. Cook in lard over medium heat until brown, 5
minutes per side, remove to plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of
lard from skillet.

Process raisins in blender until finely ground. Coarsely chop
almonds, add to blender abd process until finely ground. Add onion
and garlic to blender, process until finely ground. Process 2
tablespoons sesame seeds with on/off pulses in electric spice
grinder to fine powder, add to blender. Process clove mixture in
grinder to fine powder, add to blender.

Add chilies, 1/4 cup of the soaking water and the tomato paste to
blender, process until smooth. If mixture is too thick, just add
as much remaining soaking water, 1 teaspoon at a time, needed to
release blender blades. Heat the lard in skillet over medium heat
until hot, reduce heat to medium-low. Add chili mixture, cook,
stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Add chocolate, cook, and stir until
melted, about 2 minutes. Gradually, stir in stock, cook, stirring
frequently, 5 minutes.

Add chicken to skillet, reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, turning
occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Place chicken on
serving plates, top with sauce and remaining sesame seeds. Garnish
with tomato wedges and coriander.

Makes 6 servings


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