Cinco de Mayo

By | May 4, 2009

Today's card is in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  I did not have an appropriate SU stamp so I thought I'd used this cute little guy instead (I've had him for a couple of years). 

Cinco-de-Mayo copy

The rest of the post includes the history of Cinco de Mayo and my favorite meal to make on this special occasion – Chicken Mole!  I've also included the recipe.

History of Cinco de Mayo

While not the official Mexican Independence Day, which falls on September 16, Cinco de Mayo might just be the quintessential celebration of freedom for Mexicans the world over.

After the 1846 war with America, Mexico went through a difficult economic period, which was further weighed down by a civil war that lasted from 1858 to 1861. To supplement a deflated economy, Mexico borrowed vast sums of money from England, Spain and France.

In 1862, all three European powers came to collect. Mexico offered vouchers, England and Spain accepted and went home; France invaded. Under Napoleon III, French troops moved inland from shore, trying to make their way to Mexico City.

But before they could get to the capital, they were stopped at the state of Puebla. This is where, on May 5 of 1862, the comparatively small, outnumbered and out-armed Mexican army defeated the then super power that was France.

Mexico City subsequently fell to French rule less than a year later, but this hasn't spoiled the fun or the significance of that victory. The Mexican men who fought at Puebla defied the odds, and Cinco de Mayo celebrates their bravery and determination.

Usually the festivities include Mexican food; think quesadilla and Mole Poblano, Mexican music like mariachi, parades, piñatas and firework. And, of course, plenty of margaritas and cerveza.

And speaking of Mexican food – my favorite for this celebration is Chicken Mole which I will prepare today.

Chicken Mole (My way!  If my husband had made it, he'd select dried chili's, roast them then put them in a blender and add them to the sauce.  Oh, and add garlic and onions!)

• 3 tbsp oil
• 2 1/2 lbs chicken (white only)
•  2 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup crushed tomatoes
•  1 tbsp Mexican oregano
• 3 tbsp ancho powder
• 2 tbsp chipotle powder
• 1/2 tsp ground cloves
• 1 tbsp cocoa powder


Heat the oil in a large, lidded skillet and brown the chicken pieces.

Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Place the cooking liquid in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Return the sauce to the skillet, replace the chicken and cook everything together another 10 minutes. Serve with tortillas, Mexican rice and refried beans.


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