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The Fourth Day Of Christmas – Dark Birds And Dark Hearts

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“On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four colly birds.” – Frederic Austin

Many people misunderstand the lyrics in the fourth verse of “12 Days Of Christmas.” The traditional version sings “colly” birds, not “calling” birds. Colly refers to black or dark birds like the crow.

In early Christian and Catholic traditions, the fourth day of Christmas recognized the darkness in King Herod’s heart. His jealousy of Christ’s prophesied kinghood led to many boy children’s death in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. This terrible event found in Matthew 2:16-18 came to be called “The Massacre Of The Innocents.”

On the fourth day of Christmas, take a minute to notice the jealousy and darkness in your own heart. Remember all you have been forgiven and pray God will satisfy you with His love, replacing pride and darkness with humility and light.

After that, “eat crow.” — I’m only kidding.

Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

While black and edible, crows are hard to find. The metaphor for accepting one’s defeat seems appropriate on a day contemplating our darkened hearts, but we are forgiven. Do not forget to rejoice in your salvation.

Instead of crow, enjoy this recipe for mole negro a dark-colored, yet festive meal that brings fiesta into your mouth, perfect for celebrating salvation from our own darkness.

This post may contain affiliate links, links that may provide a small commission to the creators at The Celebration Kitchen at no extra cost to you.

Ingredients For The Pollo Mole Negro

  1. 1 Large Dry Pasilla Pepper
  2. 3 Dry Guajillo Peppers
  3. 4 Dry Chile Mulato Entero Peppers
  4. 1/8 Cup Of Pumpkin Seeds
  5. 1/8 Cup of Peanuts
  6. 1 Large Slice Of Bread (For Thickening)
  7. 1 Ripe Plantain
  8. 2 Tomatillos
  9. 1 Onion
  10. 1/2 Head Of Garlic
  11. 15 Small Tomatoes
  12. 1 Cup Of Chicken Broth (Plus More For Thinner Texture)
  13. Canola Oil (Enough To Cover All Of Your Pans)
  14. 1/4 Cup Drinking Chocolate (Powdered)
  15. 1 tsp. Tahini
  16. 1 tsp. Cumin
  17. 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  18. 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
  19. 1/8 tsp. Anise
  20. 1/8 tsp. Allspice
  21. 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  22. 1 tsp. Ground Guajillo Powder
  23. 3 Chicken Thighs (Chopped Into One Inch Pieces)
  24. Salt (To Taste)
  25. Pepper (To Taste)


For Serving

Instructions For The Pollo Mole Negro

  1. Roast Items 1-11 either in a cast iron skillet or in the oven under a broiler. Use high heat for extra charred, smokey flavor, or cook slowly on low to bring out sweet, subtle flavors in your ingredients.
  2. Soak the dry, now roasted peppers in hot water for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a large pan on the stove to medium hot and add enough canola oil to coat the pan. Once hot, add your chopped chicken thighs, salt, pepper, Guajillo powder, and oregano. Cook for 8-13 minutes (until no pink remains on the inside and chicken reaches the temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. Once the chilis rehydrate (soak for the appropriate amount of time), remove stems and as many seeds as possible.
  5. Add chilis, items 4-20, and a little more salt and pepper into a blender. Blend until all ingredients integrate. The texture will be slightly grainy, but smooth. Add more broth to reach desired smoothness.
  6. Pour an ample amount of sauce over the cooking chicken and store the leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
  7. Cook sauce with chicken until warmed through.
  8. Pour over rice and top with cilantro and sour cream if desired.
  9. Enjoy!
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield
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