Chicken Mole Poblano

By • May 5, 2015 0 Comments

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Chicken Mole Poblano

Author Notes: Despite what we Americans think, Mole Poblano is about so much more than the chocolate. The chocolate is there, and it's necessary, but this sauce is really about the peppers and the seeds. While it's not a simple recipe, it is easier than it looks, and you can definitely make the sauce ahead of time to make the day off preparation even easier. And don't be thrown off by the number of ingredients (it's admittedly a lot); even without buying huge bulk amounts, the price shouldn't be extravagant. The sauce is inspired by the the Chicken Mole from Food Network Kitchens, but the chicken has been spiced up so as to live up to the work necessary for the sauce. Taylor Ayral


Serves 5-7

The Mole Base

  • 6 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 3" cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 dried guajillo chiles
  • 4 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 dried arbol chiles
  • 1/4 cup dark raisins
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 6" corn tortillas, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried peppers, and soak in hot water until pliable. Don't throw out the soaking water.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium high heat, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the carafe of a blender that can hold at least 5 cups.
  3. Toast the cinnamon, cloves, anise seeds, and cumin in the same dry pan until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the blender.
  4. Add the canola oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add in the almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and tortilla pieces. Sautee until the tortillas are golden and the raisins are plump. Transfer to the ingredients blender along with the cooking oil.
  5. Add the soaked and pliable peppers.
  6. Blend, adding pepper soaking liquid as needed until just thin enough to blend, but still thick. Blend until smooth and homogeneous. If possible, store in the refridgerator overnight to let the flavors blend. This is just he base of the sauce, so you can make it days ahead of time and store until you want to make the finished product. Makes 4-5 cups of base

The Chicken Mole, Complete

  • 3-4 pounds assorted bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup jarred salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 1 chipotle pepper, canned in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 recipe's worth of mole base
  • 2.75 ounces Mexican chocolate, broken into pieces
  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. of cumin. If using breasts, cut them in half so that all of the pieces are about the size of a normal chicken thigh.
  2. In a large skillet or sauté pan, over medium-high heat, heat the oil until almost smoking.
  3. Sear the chicken skin side first, until golden brown; about 5 minutes. Flip and sear the other side for 3-5 minutes as well. Work in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan, but you're going to need a pan big enough to fit all the pieces in a single layer soon.
  4. When the chicken is browned on both sides, remove to a plate. Combine the chicken stock, salsa verde, the chipotle pepper and it's adobo sauce, the pico de gallo, and the remaining cumin in the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits left on the pan by the seared chicken.
  5. Add the chicken pieces back into the pan in a single layer, and bring the broth back to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover, and allow to simmer on low for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken has an internal temp of 165 F.
  6. While the chicken is simmering, place a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat with the canola oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the mole base. Cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  7. When the chicken is done, remove it to a plate and cover with tinfoil. Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and add water if necessary until you have 4 cups of liquid.
  8. Add the liquid to the pot of mole base. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high to high heat, stirring often, until the sauce starts to thicken, 10-15 minutes.
  9. Add the Mexican chocolate and continue to cook, stirring often, for 10-15 more minutes until a thick sauce develops.
  10. Return the chicken to the skillet and pour the finished mole over. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for 5 minutes just to bring everything back up to temperature, and allow the the chicken to absorb some of the mole flavor.
  11. Serve with something to soak up all all the extra mole! Rice, roasted potatoes, or an Arepa would be a great combination.

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