- 3 medium onions, divided
- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 Mexican-style beer, such as Negra Modelo
- 4 fresh bay leaves, divided
- 3 ancho chili peppers, seeded and stemmed
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 red chili pepper, such as Fresno or Holland
- 2 small stems fresh oregano or marjoram, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Mexican cocoa powder
- A pinch of cinnamon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
- Small corn or flour tortillas, warmed to package directions, for serving
- Toasted pepitas, for garnish
Quarter one of the onions and place it in a large pot with the chicken, beer, and 2 bay leaves. Add just enough water to come up to the top of the chicken pieces. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and simmer until cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the hot liquid to a bowl and shred the meat with forks. Strain and reserve the stock.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, cover the anchos with just enough water to cover and simmer to reconstitute, 8-10 minutes. Add the anchos to a food processor bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.
Toast the almonds in a saucepot large enough in which to make the sauce. Remove the toasted nuts to the food processor bowl.
Slice the two remaining onions. Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat in the same pot you toasted the nuts in. Add the onions, garlic, the remaining two bay leaves, raisins, red chili, oregano, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cover and cook to soften the onions, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the crushed tomatoes and heat through. Transfer to the food processor with the reconstituted anchos and almonds. Process into a thick paste and return to the saucepot. Add a little of the chicken stock and ancho stock to thin the sauce a bit. It should remain thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce, then serve with warm corn or flour tortillas for wrapping. Garnish with the pepitas.