It’s Oscar weekend and this year will be the 90th Academy Awards. In it’s honor, I’m going back to another iconic classic that won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Moon River,” and was also nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Actress for Hepburn, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a 1961 romantic comedy based on Truman Capote’s novel of the same name. This Blake Edwards film staring, Audrey Hepburn was also selected as the fourth most memorable song in Hollywood history by the American Film Institute in 2004. This film has been so historically impactful that in 2012, it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
We may look at one of the most iconic images of the 20th century of Hepburn as Holly, with her hair in a high chignon and carrying an oversized cigarette holder, as one of the many reasons why this film is so historic. One of the most famous little black dresses of all time designed by Givenchy for Hepburn for possible use in the film sold at auction by Christie’s on December 5, 2006 for £467,200. These are not the only reasons why this film is so famous. It is also controversial and one reason for this is that it may be deemed racist. For his portrayal of I. Y. Yunioshi, Mickey Rooney wore makeup and a prosthetic mouthpiece to change his features to a caricatured approximation of a Japanese person. Since the 1990s, this portrayal has been subject to increasing protest by Asian Americans, among others. The controversies in the 60’s may have also been Holly’s occupation as well as the relationships she and her love interest Paul carry on in order to maintain their standards of living.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s has so many underlying themes, and addresses the problems of the times as well as now, that it is an explosion of art in a light hearted romantic comedy. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and see it at least once.
I’m not going to leave you with the iconic breakfast that Holly enjoys standing in front of Tiffany’s. You can eat a croissant anytime and it’s been done too many times. What should accompany this movie is a real complete meal from the film that is talked about very little. When Holly decides to turn into marriage material and is dreaming of living in South America with aristocrat Jose, she invites Paul to dinner and she plans on serving Chicken with Chocolate Sauce and Saffron Rice. The whole thing explodes in her kitchen and we never get to see the end product.
What I think chocolate sauce of the times would be, is Mole. I’m assuming that Holly was learning to cook with a South American flair, event though she called it an East Indian Classic. I’m serving Chicken with Mole and Spanish Saffron Rice. After all, it’s Oscar weekend and you need to treat yourself to something more than croissants. Chicken with Mole is usually served with white rice, but since Holly said “saffron rice,” I’m going to serve saffron rice.
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
¼ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (see Note)
Season chicken with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2⁄3 cup chopped onion
1 1⁄2 cups uncooked white rice
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (12 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄8 teaspoon powdered saffron
3 cups water
- Season chicken with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add tomato sauce, broth, chocolate chips and almond butter; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, return the chicken (and any accumulated juice) to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
- Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
- Saute onions in a heavy saucepan until golden.
- Add rice; stir briskly to quickly coat with oil.
- Stir in bell pepper, cumin, chili powder, tomato sauce, salt, garlic, saffron, and water.
- Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low.
- Periodically check to be sure there is enough liquid until rice is tender and give rice a little stir.
- Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Serve with Chicken and Mole Sauce