Amarillo de Pollo

Chicken in Yellow Mole


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

This bright-tasting mole relies on raw jalapeños and is enjoyed like a stew. It’s hearty and perfect for a cold night; the masa transforms the texture into a chowder-like experience. This is the mole recipe that I recommend if you are looking to make a plant-based mole, because the chicken stock can be easily substituted for a vegetable stock. It will be just as satisfying, if not better.


For the Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (about 2 pounds/1 kg), butchered into eight pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ white onion
  • 2 hojas santa leaves
  • Sea salt

For the Mole

  • 6 guajillo chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 ancho chiles, seeded and stems removed
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 chayote, quartered
  • 8 ounces (225 g) green beans, trimmed
  • 8 fingerling potatoes (or 4 medium potatoes, quartered)
  • ounces (120 g) fresh masa
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tomatillos, husked and rinsed

For the Garnishes

  • Key limes, quartered
  • Chopped jalapeños
  • Minced garlic


In a large stockpot over high heat, combine the chicken, garlic cloves, onion, and salt with 8 cups (2 L) of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the chicken is tender and fully cooked. This will take about 45 minutes. Remove the chicken, garlic, and onion from the pot. Reserve the chicken in a bowl. Discard the garlic and onion and add the hoja santa leaves to the broth in the stockpot.

In a saucepan, bring 4 cups (960 ml) of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a comal or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, briefly toast the chiles for a minute or two until aromatic. Set aside.

In the same hot comal over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, peppercorns, and cloves for just a couple of minutes, until aromatic, and set aside. Next, add the onion and garlic, respectively, until each is charred a bit, about 7 minutes. Set aside when done as well.

When the water is boiling, remove from the heat and add the toasted chiles. Let sit for 20 minutes or until the chiles are tender and completely rehydrated.

Fill a separate pot with water and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cook the chayote, green beans, and potatoes until tender. This should take about 40 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, remove from the water and set aside.

In a blender, blend 1 cup (240 ml) of water and the masa until smooth. Strain the mixture through a double-fine-mesh strainer and into the pot filled with chicken stock. Turn on the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent any masa from sticking to the pan.

In the blender, add the tomatoes, tomatillos, toasted onion, toasted garlic, and the softened chiles. Blend until smooth. Pass through a double-fine-mesh strainer and pour into the simmering pot of chicken broth. Stir for 5 minutes.

In a molcajete or spice grinder, grind the cumin, peppercorns, and cloves until finely ground. Add this spice mix to the pot and simmer the mole for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Lower the heat and return the cooked vegetables and chicken to the pot. Keep simmering for an additional 5 minutes until the chicken is warmed through. Serve in bowls and accompany with tortillas.