Chicken with Red Mole Sauce
- 8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 6 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 8 small tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 3 medium red tomatoes
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup almonds, unskinned
- ½ cup sesame seeds, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
- 1 stick cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried epazote
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 4 chicken legs and/or thighs
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, or Mexican cooking chocolate, grated
- 1 slice day-old bread, toasted and crumbled
- honey to taste
- sea salt to taste
For best results, we recommend using:
- Tear chiles into large, flat pieces using your hands. Toast chile on all sides in a dry skillet, with fan on, over medium heat, until browned and not burnt, about 2 minutes. Transfer chile pieces to a bowl using thongs; set aside to cool.
- Heat tomatillos using the same skillet until charred and softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes; set aside in a small bowl to cool.
- Place tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with filtered water. Simmer tomatoes until soft over medium heat. Strain tomatoes while reserving water; set aside to cool. Peel tomatoes; stir tomatoes with tomatillos; smash with a fork; reserve until needed.
- Soak toasted chiles in the tomato water until rehydrated, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving both the chiles and soaking liquid.
- Wipe the skillet with a paper towel, and add the onion, garlic, raisins and almonds. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and toasted, about 10 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds, spices and herbs, and cook until toasted, another 3 minutes; transfer to a bowl. When cool, remove skin from the garlic and return garlic to the bowl.
- Place half of rehydrated chiles, with their liquid, and half of the tomato mixture in food processor. Add half of the onion and spice mixture. Pulse until the mixture forms a thick sauce, adding small amounts of water as necessary. Repeat with the remaining chiles, tomato, onion and spice mixtures. Combine and reserve. Alternately, put the ingredients into a deep bowl or pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- In a medium stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces and sear until brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Add filtered water to cover, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to maintain a simmer, cooking the chicken until it is tender, about 25 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, remove with tongs, and reserve the cooking liquid.
- In a large sauté pan or clay cooking vessel, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 cups mole sauce, stirring until incorporated; refrigerate or freeze remaining sauce. Stir in 2 cups chicken stock; simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. The sauce should coat a wooden spoon. Add the grated chocolate and crumbled bread, stirring until incorporated. Taste and season with honey and sea salt, as needed.
- To serve, place a piece of chicken on a plate and coat with the mole sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice and tortillas.
Dried guajillo and ancho chiles can be found at Mexican markets, well-stocked grocery stores, or spice shops. They add incredible, smoky flavor to the mole. Extra chiles have many uses: add to a simmering pot of dried beans or your favorite soup or stew, or chop into flakes as a substitute for crushed red pepper.
What others are saying
Katie Hason says:
This is the perfect mole sauce for beginners! If you haven't tried it before, this is a great place to start. It pairs perfectly with the chicken too. So delicious!
Jessica Scott says:
This mole is so good! Never knew it called for chocolate. This recipe takes awhile but it's so worth it. Very good and authentic tasting. Delicious with chicken thighs!