Dinner/ Recipes

Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe with Dark Chocolate

12/04/2017 (Last Updated: 04/09/2019)

A scintillating blend of dark chocolate, red chilli and aromatic spices weave their magic in this Mexican Chicken Mole recipe. It’s deliciously tender AND easy enough to prepare for a mid-week dinner.

Chicken drumsticks cooked in rick Mexican chicken mole sauce.

Why We Love This Recipe

Mexican Chicken Mole (aka Mexican Chocolate Chicken) is a rich and decadent dish featuring aromatic spices and dark chocolate. Despite a “long” ingredient list, it’s surprisingly simple to make. You can even prepare the chocolate mole sauce in advance, or freeze for that next Mexican dinner. 

We first discovered this for recipe Mexican Chicken Mole when a friend cooked it for us on New Year’s Eve. Before the clock struck midnight and fireworks crackled through the sky, we shared a Mexican-themed potluck feast.

Platters were piled high with nachos, tacos and refried beans aplenty, but this Mexican Chicken Mole recipe stole the show. The first bite of tender shredded chicken in rich, dark and spicy chocolate-infused sauce had us totally hooked.

Mexican Chicken Mole on a plate with a knife and fork.

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A plate of Mexican chocolate chicken next to a packet of dark chocolate and pile or tortillas.

Our wandering adventures haven’t quite led us to Mexico (yet!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t do a little kitchen adventuring at home in the meantime. And since that magical food-filled New Years Eve, we knew we had to recreate our own Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe at home.

When we sat down to plan this recipe, however, we never realised traditional mole sauces get a bit of a bad rap for seeming to involve lots of ingredients and a lot of time. 

So with a little experimentation, we created a simplified version which is easy (and quick) to make for a mid-week dinner.

The hardest part is chopping the onion – the rest is left to the blender and saucepan!

Mexican chicken mole being portioned out onto plates of tortillas.

What is Mexican Chicken Mole?

Mexican Chocolate Chicken Mole is a type of mole sauce made from chillies, spices, chocolate, nuts and fruit and slow cooked chicken pieces.

The sauce is very versatile and makes a great base for many Mexican dishes.

Is Mexican Mole spicy?

Traditionally it can be quite spicy and utilises many types of chillies from Mexico. Our simplified version is not as spicy, and focuses more on the flavour punch instead.

A close up of shredding chicken cooked in Chocolate Mole Sauce.

Chocolate Chicken Mole Ingredients

The recipe below may seem to have a long ingredients list, but look closer and you’ll realise that a good chunk of them are dried spices. Other than those, there are a few key ingredients you’ll need to create your very own rich and decadent Mexican Chicken Mole sauce:

Dark Chocolate

Savoury + chocolate don’t go hand-in-hand as often as they should! It’s a decadent and delicious combination, especially when using dark chocolate.

Traditional Mexican Chicken Mole recipes call for spiced Mexican chocolate, but if you’re like us and can’t easily source it at home, you can substitute with a dark, bittersweet cocoa chocolate.

Aim for at least 85% cocoa if you can.

An opened packed of Fairtrade Alter Eco dark chocolate with chocolate pieces spilling out.

We used Alter Eco’s Dark Blackout Chocolate for this recipe, which not only has a gorgeous balance of bitter yet oh-so-subtle sweetness, but is also organic and vegan.

It’s a Fairtrade product, which means every purchase helps make cocoa farming more sustainable and enables farmers to provide a better future for themselves and their families.

As I sit here and write, I realise this chocolate has travelled from being raw cacao in Ecuador, through the hands of Swiss Chocolatiers and melted straight into our Mexican Chicken Mole here in Australia.

That’s quite an adventure for one special little bar of chocolate. 🙂

Shredded chicken in chocolate mole sauce on tortillas.

Chillis

Traditional mole recipes call for a range of different types of chillis including pasilla/negro, puya, ancho and mulato, but to keep things simple we’ve modified this recipe to instead make use of regular dried red chillis.

However,  if you can get your hands on traditional chillies, we definitely encourage your own chilli mole experiments!

Chicken

We used wings and legs as an economic and flavourful way to prepare this dish, but you could also use breast or thigh fillets and shred them if you prefer.

With a little time, a little simmering, and a little dancing around the kitchen, you’ll be ready to tuck into your freshly-made Mexican Chicken Mole in no time.

You could also make it up to three days in advance and let all those gorgeous flavours blend together even more… but it’ll sure be hard to resist!

Two tortillas piled with shredded chicken in mole sauce, with onion and parsley garnish.

FAQ’s

Can Mexican Mole be made in advance and frozen?

It sure can! Simply cook a batch of sauce, portion it out and freeze. Then you can have super tasty and even quicker Mexican Chicken Mole whenever you please.

What to do with Mexican Mole leftover sauce?

One taste of this sauce is sure to get those creative juices flowing. Here are some ideas for using up leftover spicy chocolate mole sauce.

  • Enchiladas
  • Tacos
  • Tostadas
  • Tamales
  • Pour-over meat sauce
  • Schnitzel topping (for some Mexican German fusion?!)

Chicken legs in Mexican Mole sauce.

Variations & Substitutions

  • If you can’t source traditional Mexican chillis, feel free to simplify with regular red chillis. 
  • You can substitute orange juice for orange peel (or water if you prefer not to include the citrus notes in this dish). 

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Mexican chicken mole on a plate with lashings of spicy chocolate sauce.

Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe with Dark Chocolate

A scintillating blend of dark chocolate, red chilli and aromatic spices weave their magic in this Mexican Chicken Mole recipe that's deliciously tender AND easy enough to prepare for a mid-week dinner. (Featuring bittersweet Alter Eco dark chocolate.)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 752kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Large saucepan + lid
  • Casserole dish
  • Small bowl

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1,5 kg chicken pieces we used 4 wings and 4 legs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup orange juice or 2 tbsp orange rind OR ½ cup water

For the Sauce:

  • 6 dried long red chillis
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp anise seeds
  • ¼ coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp peanuts crushed
  • 1 tbsp pepitas
  • 400 g tomato puree
  • 2-3 tbsp dried prunes or raisins
  • 1 slice day old bread torn into chunks
  • 60 g dark chocolate minimum 80% cocoa

To Serve:

  • flour or corn tortillas
  • fresh coriander
  • red onion finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds garnish

Instructions

  • Let’s get started! First up, the chillis. Heat half a cup of vegetable oil in a medium frypan and add your dried chillis. Heat them through gently until they just start to blacken, but don’t allow to burn. Carefully remove them from the oil and pop into a small bowl, then cover with boiling water and allow to soak for around 30 mins.
  • Now for the chicken! Pour the chilli oil into a large saucepan or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper and cook in batches, three minutes or so per side. (Watch out for spitting oil! We recommend using a lid here to shield yourself). Once cooked, return all the chicken to the frying pan you used to cook the chilli and add the orange juice and half the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to bubble away for around 20 mins, rotating the chicken every 5 minutes or so to coat.
  • Meanwhile, back in the large saucepan/casserole dish, add your chopped onion, garlic and gently fry until translucent in the chilli oil. Next add the oregano, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, anise seeds, coriander seeds and cinnamon stick and cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are mouthwateringly fragrant. Add in the peanuts, pepitas, torn chunks of bread, tomato puree and raisins or prunes along with the softened chillis. Pour in the remaining chicken stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow all those gorgeous flavours to blend.
  • Now, remove from the heat and take out your cinnamon stick to blend the sauce. You can do this with a stab blender or by transferring the sauce in batches into a food processor or blender.
  • Now add in your dark chocolate and allow to melt gently into the sauce. Give it a good stir and a taste test.
  • Finally, you can place your chicken pieces (whole or shredded) along with its juices and stock back into the pot with your blended mole sauce and cover. Return to the heat and warm through before serving.

To assemble:

  • Layer your fresh tortillas with chicken mole, red onion and fresh coriander.
  • Optionally, serve with fluffy white rice.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

FAQ's

  • Can Mexican Mole be made in advance and frozen? It sure can! Simply cook a batch of sauce, portion it out and freeze. Then you can have super tasty and even quicker Mexican Chicken Mole whenever you please.
  • What to do with Mexican Mole leftover sauce? One taste of this sauce is sure to get those creative juices flowing. Here are some ideas for using up leftover spicy chocolate mole sauce.
    • Enchiladas
    • Tacos
    • Tostadas
    • Tamales
    • Pour-over meat sauce
    • Schnitzel topping (for some Mexican German fusion?!)

Variations & Substitutions

  • If you can't source traditional Mexican chillis, feel free to simplify with regular red chillis.
  • You can substitute orange juice for orange peel (or water if you prefer not to include the citrus notes in this dish).

Nutrition

Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 1115mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1086IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 6mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

 

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Erik
    31/07/2019 at 11:34 am

    Wonderful recipe thank you so much 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/08/2019 at 5:10 pm

      Our pleasure!

  • Reply
    chefxchange
    21/04/2017 at 8:00 pm

    Such a great recipe, thanks for posting!
    Just wondering what you think about the use of Chili Chocolate (like the Lindt Excellence Bar), instead of Plain Chocolate?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      27/04/2017 at 3:30 pm

      It’s definitely worth giving it a try! You could always portion out some of your sauce and blend that chocolate as a taste-test. Then if it’s good, you can add the rest in. If not, you can try a different chocolate style with the rest of your sauce.

  • Reply
    Debra C.
    20/04/2017 at 2:03 pm

    Deep dark deliciousness in that chicken! I am salivating just looking at your amazing pictures. With all that flavor, I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      27/04/2017 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Debra, hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Julie
    20/04/2017 at 1:29 pm

    This sounds delicious. Such a good combination of chocolate and chili. It’s unusual to write this but I know that the pairing is a perfect one.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:36 pm

      I think that’s what we love most about cooking – trying new ingredient and flavour combinations and seeing what works. So much fun to experiment (and then eat the results! 😛 )

  • Reply
    Manju | Cooking Curries
    20/04/2017 at 1:11 pm

    I can imagine the balance of flavors from the dark chocolate and the chilies. Love the color on the sauce!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:35 pm

      There’s some serious cooking alchemy going on in this one isn’t there? Hehe 😛

  • Reply
    Sandi G
    20/04/2017 at 12:39 pm

    Yummy…I love chocolate anything, especially a good mole sauce.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:35 pm

      Hi fives to that Sandi!

  • Reply
    Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
    20/04/2017 at 12:15 pm

    So delicious!! I love the addition of chocolate here. It adds so much flavor to most dishes! Your photos look fabulous!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:34 pm

      Aww thanks Neli, so glad you like em!

  • Reply
    Juli
    19/04/2017 at 8:37 am

    You had me at Mexican Chicken Mole and then I saw that you used 80% cocoa! Yum! This looks great!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:33 pm

      I know, I always used to be a milk chocolate person but lately I’ve been having real hankerings for proper, dark chocolate. Plus it brings a real depth of flavour to this sauce so win win!

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    18/04/2017 at 9:42 pm

    Oh, YUM! Wish I were there enjoying it with you. I’ve made lots of things with chocolate but not chicken. Why is that when it sounds so delicious? Savory is certainly what I like in our dishes — this is definitely going to be a MUST make. Love leftovers!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:32 pm

      Oh us too Marisa! One day we’ll be on the same side of the world and can catch up for a cook fest. 😀 And I know right? Savoury chocolate recipes NEED to be on the list much more often haha.

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    18/04/2017 at 5:07 pm

    I love mole but have always been intimidated because of the long ingredient list! These looks incredible though.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/04/2017 at 1:31 pm

      I know, it looks like a killer until you realise it’s a heap of dried spices – easy peasy!

  • Reply
    Luci's Morsels
    18/04/2017 at 3:06 pm

    What a fun recipe! I have never tried anything like this but it looks delicious! It may be time to try something new. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      27/04/2017 at 3:46 pm

      Glad we could help you with a little edible inspo – thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brian Jones
    18/04/2017 at 2:37 pm

    I love the sound of this recipe, dark chocolate and chili go so well together and they are genius in savoury foods! Delicious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2017 at 3:55 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better ourselves Brian. Thanks for stopping by! 😀

  • Reply
    Prasanna Hede
    18/04/2017 at 2:26 pm

    Never tried adding chocolate to chicken recipe. Must try!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2017 at 3:55 pm

      Definitely, you’d never think it but it’s a match made in heaven!

  • Reply
    Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    18/04/2017 at 12:48 pm

    I love that this is a simplified version. It looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/04/2017 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Allison, hope you enjoy!

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