Chicken Mole

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:


    main-course servings

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

The same techniques are used to make a mole as are used to make a classic fricassée; just the flavors are different. Feel free to experiment with different chiles. The heart of a mole sauce is not, as some people assume, chocolate, but rather combinations of chiles with cinnamon and cloves. Raisins and almonds also enter into most moles. This mole makes enough for two chickens.


dried mulato chiles 5 5
dried ancho chiles 3 3
dried pasilla chiles 3 3
chipotle chile, dried or canned in adobo sauce 1 1
sesame seeds 2 tbsp 30 ml
coriander seeds ½ tsp 2 ml
chickens, quartered, 2 8 lb 4 kg
salt and pepper to taste to taste
butter 1 oz 30 g
onion, chopped 1 medium 1 medium
garlic clove, chopped 1 1
ground cloves ¼ tsp 1 ml
ground cinnamon ½ tsp 2 ml
tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped 2 large 2 large
almonds with their skin, toasted in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 15 minutes ¼ cup 60 ml
sugar (or to taste) 1 tbsp 15 ml
chicken broth 2 cups 500 ml
white raisins 3 tbsp 45 ml
sherry vinegar (or to taste) 3 tbsp 45 ml


  1. Put the chiles, except the canned chipotle if that’s what you’re using, in a skillet over medium heat and toast them, about 5 minutes. Soak them in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes, until pliable. Discard the soaking water.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds and coriander seeds in a skillet until fragrant. Grind in a coffee grinder. Reserve.
  3. If you’re using a canned chipotle chile, rinse the sauce off. Stem and seed all of the chiles.
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in the butter in a large rondeau or in two sauté pans for about 5 minutes on each side over medium to high heat. Take out the chicken and pour out all but about 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of fat in the pan. Cook the onion and garlic in the fat for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cloves and cinnamon and cook for about 1 minute.
  5. Combine the reserved spices, the chiles, the tomatoes, cooked onion mixture, almonds, sugar, and broth in a blender and purée for 1 minute.
  6. Put the chicken back in the pan and pour over the sauce. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Take out the chicken and cook down the sauce, uncovered, until it starts to thicken to the consistency of a thick gravy. Sprinkle over the raisins. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper.