Mole Sauce

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A couple of years ago I spotted an article in the Wall St. Journal on chicken with mole sauce which seemed easy to make, although like the typical mole recipe it contained a very long list of ingredients. I have made a batch and used it twice, once as in the original recipe with stewed chicken thighs and red rice, and a second time with chicken enchiladas. In the first dish, the sauce tasted fine, but was too dry and textured. In the second dish, the sauce got some more time in the food processor with more chicken stock, until it turned into a thick gravy. Those changes, plus maybe the benefits of time to meld the flavors, made a very flavorful sauce which made excellent enchiladas. This recipe incorporates what I learned working with this sauce.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 corn tortilla

¼ small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

¼ cup peanuts

1 teaspoon chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

¼ cup raisins

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 (3-inch) piece baguette

½ ripe plantain with skin, stem removed

3 dried pasilla chilies, seeded

3 dried mulato chilies, seeded

2 dried ancho chilies, seeded

2 chipotle chilies adobo (or dried and seeded)

¼ teaspoon peppercorns

3 whole cloves

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ star anise

1-1/2 oz. chocolate, roughly chopped (I used bittersweet. The WSJ recommended Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra)

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 cups chicken stock

Salt to taste (~1 tsp.)


Have all the sauce ingredients lined up and ready to go. Have a bowl handy. Most of the preparation is toasting ingredients one at a time in a hot skillet, so as soon as one is done, start the next.

Heat the skillet with the 2 tsp. of oil. Fry the tortilla until crisp, and then put the tortilla in the bowl. Add the onion and garlic to the bowl, and saute until translucent. Put the onion and garlic in the bowl. Toast the pumpkin seeds over medium-high heat until fragrant, about a minute. Put the pumpkin seeds in the bowl. Toast in sequence the peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and raisins, putting each in the bowl when toasted. Wipe out any remaining oil from the skillet, and return it to the heat. Toast the sesame seeds, and put them in the bowl. Toast the bread, browning it on all sides, then put it in the bowl. Cook the plantain in its skin in the skillet until soft on the inside, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, remove the skin, and add the plantain to the bowl. Toast the chilies, being careful not to let them burn. Add the toasted chilies to the bowl.

Allow everything in the bowl to cool and then but it in the bowl of the food processor with the chocolate, spices, and salt. Pulse until well chopped. Add half the chicken stock and pulse until smooth. Put the mole into a saucepan with the remaining chicken broth and simmer for 30 minutes, adding more chicken stock and salt if necessary. The mole should have the consistency of a thick gravy.


Serve as a sauce with stewed chicken or with chicken enchiladas.


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