A staple in Mexican households, this traditional chicken mole recipe is made with warm spices, fragrant chiles and bittersweet chocolate.
I’m glutton for punishment. It’s true. Remember when I recently shared a recipe for Posole Rojo, the Mexican pork and hominy stew? Well apparently it wasn’t enough to wet my appetite because I decided to tackle the big guns… authentic Mexican mole.
Have you ever made mole from scratch? I’m talking, from scratch scratch? Yea, I hadn’t either. But with a little encouragement from my friend and photographer Raul, I decided to stop being a baby and man up.
Is it the easiest recipe I’ve ever made? No. Did it require a lot of ingredients I don’t always work with? Yep. Was it worth every minute when I tasted the end product? Damn right.
Made with fragrant chilis, warm spices, sweet raisins and bittersweet chocolate, traditional chicken mole is worth all of the time it takes in the kitchen. And even if it wasn’t, there is nothing more peaceful or relaxing than spending time in the kitchen cooking from scratch for the people you love.
Your fork is waiting.
- ½ cup lard or canola oil
- 10 ounces dried chiles (any combination of ancho, pasillas, mulatos or guajillo) – stems and seeds removed
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- ¼ cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons raw almonds with skin
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 4 whole cloves - stemmed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 5 black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 2 corn tortillas – quartered
- 2 roma tomatoes – charred or roasted
- 2 tomatillos – husked and rinsed – charred roasted
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 2.7-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- roasted or cooked chicken – to serve
- Heat a large, deep pan over medium high and add lard or oil. Once the fat is hot, about 2 minutes, add in the chilies in batches so as not to over crowd the pan. Using tongs, gently stir them around until they become aromatic and slightly soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a mixing bowl. Continue until you’ve gone through all chilies.
- To the same warm pot, add diced onion and garlic. Saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the raisins and almonds and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Next, stir in the sesame seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, anise, coriander, peppercorns, thyme and allspice. Stirring frequently, let the mixture cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the tortilla pieces, tomatoes and tomatillos to the mixture and cook for another minute or so until the juices begin to release.
- Add the reserved sautéed chilis to the pan along with the chicken broth. Once the mixture starts to simmer, add in the chocolate pieces and salt. Stir then let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover and let the pot rest for 30 minutes so the chilies completely soften.
- Working in batches, slowly puree the whole mixture in a high speed blender or food processor. The mole can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to a year.
- When you’re ready to eat, drizzle over roasted chicken. If the mixture seems thick, dilute with a bit of chicken broth to reach desired consistency.
Photography by Alejandro Photography // Recipe by The Lemon Bowl
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