4 Tbsp. Midtown Olive Oil Harissa Oil
5 lbs. Skinless chicken thighs or breast tenders
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 large yellow onions, sliced
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
6 large garlic cloves
3 tsp. cumin seeds
3 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 ozs. dried Pasilla chilies, stemmed, seeded, cut with scissors into 1" pieces
2 ozs. dried Negro chilies, stemmed, seeded, cut with scissors into 1" pieces
2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
corn tortillas, warmed
Heat 2 tbsp. Harissa oil in heavy large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Wash and pat chicken dry. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken to pot and saute until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side.
Return chicken, any juices, and the bay leaf to the pot. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, until chicken is tender, about 25 min.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. Harissa oil in heavy LARGE saucepan (cast iron is ideal for this) over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until brown- about 10 min. Reduce heat to medium and almonds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Saute until the nuts and seeds begin to toast lightly- about 2 min. Add dried cut chilies and stir until they begin to soften, about 2 min.
Add the caramilized onion and dried chili mixture to the pot with the chicken and stock. Add the chocolate balsamic and oregano to the pot. Stir to incorporate and cover. Simmer gently until the chilies are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 min. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 15 min.
Remove the chicken from the pot to a large bowl. It will be just about falling apart, so don't worry if you leave a few bits and pieces in the sauce. Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth. Then return to reserved pot. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely shred chicken and return to sauce- gently stir to incorporate.
This recipe can be served immediately, but gets better with time, and can be made up to three days in advance.
Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before serving. Serve over rice and/or with warm tortillas and a drizzle of Harissa oil. Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh cilantro.