This rich, velvety mole sauce recipe gets flavor from spices, chocolate, dried chiles and nuts. To make it at home, you'll need a blender and a fine-mesh strainer. Find the dried chiles and Mexican cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, online and at Mexican grocers. Be careful not to burn the chiles or raisins when frying or the sauce will taste bitter. Use any leftover sauce and chicken for enchiladas the next day.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2017


Recipe Summary

1 hr 45 mins
1 hr 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Trim any excess chicken skin or fat. Place the chicken in a large pot. Add water, carrot, onion, 1 clove garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam from the surface. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large bowl. Let cool slightly; discard the skin and refrigerate. Strain and reserve the stock for the mole.

  • Snip stems off chiles, cut them open and remove the seeds. Set aside.

  • Toast cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, aniseed and cumin in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring often, until very aromatic, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  • Add almonds, pecans and hazelnuts to the pan; toast, stirring often, until golden brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Coarsely chop and add to the spices.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add about half the chiles and cook, stirring, until very aromatic and the skins puff slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add 2 teaspoons oil and repeat with the remaining chiles. Remove to the plate.

  • Wipe out the pan and heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add peanuts and cook, stirring, until golden brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the spices.

  • Wipe out the pan and heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Cook tortillas, one at a time, until golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to the bowl. Cook dinner roll, turning once, until golden brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Coarsely chop and add to the bowl.

  • Wipe out the pan and heat 1 teaspoon oil over low heat. Add raisins and cook, stirring, until the skins puff up, 25 to 30 seconds.

  • Coarsely chop the remaining 3 cloves garlic and place in a blender. Crumble the toasted chiles into the blender; pulse until finely chopped. Add the spices and nuts, tortillas, bread and raisins. Add 3 cups of the reserved stock. Blend into a very thick puree, stirring as needed to release any air pockets.

  • Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on the solids and scraping the underside of the sieve to extract as much as possible.

  • Scrape the remaining pulp from the sieve back into the blender. Add 1 cup stock and blend again into a thick puree. Strain into the same bowl. Repeat twice more, using 1 cup additional stock with each batch. The sauce should be the consistency of gravy; add additional broth or water, if necessary. Discard the remaining pulp in the sieve.

  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the large pot over medium heat. Carefully add the sauce and cook, stirring, until hot, about 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken, turning to coat with the sauce. Cover and cook until the chicken is hot, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the chicken with some of the sauce.


To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days; thin mole with a little chicken stock before reheating.

Nutrition Facts

1 drumstick, 1 thigh & 1/2 cup sauce each (plus leftover sauce)
377 calories; protein 31g; carbohydrates 18.5g; dietary fiber 4.7g; sugars 4.2g; fat 20.7g; saturated fat 3.9g; cholesterol 90.2mg; vitamin a iu 3444.1IU; niacin equivalents 20.6mg; vitamin b6 1.5mg; vitamin c 0.6mg; folate 36.1mcg; calcium 53mg; iron 3.8mg; magnesium 64.5mg; potassium 635.1mg; sodium 399.6mg; thiamin 0.3mg; added sugar 3g; calories from fat 186.5kcal.

1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 5 lean meat, 2 fat