Dinner/ Recipes

Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe with Dark Chocolate

12/04/2017 (Last Updated: 01/04/2020)

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.

Pieces of succulent chicken in a chocolate mole sauce.

Why We Love This

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.

Plate of chicken mole pieces with forks and coriander.

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.

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.

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!

What You’ll Need For Chocolate Chicken Mole

Ingredients laid out for chocolate chicken mole sauce.

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 – 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.
  • 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 large dried red chillis (or small if you can’t find the big ones). 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 (like in our video) or thigh fillets and shred them if you prefer.
Ingredients laid out for chocolate chicken mole with tortillas.

Tips

  • Make Ahead – You can make mole up to three days in advance and let all those gorgeous flavours blend together even more.

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 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?!)

Is Mexican chocolate mole sauce 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.

Variations

  • 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). 
Big pot of shredded chicken in Mexican chocolate mole sauce.

Spice lover? Try these next:

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

Warm brown chocolate mole sauce over chicken.

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

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1.5 kg chicken we used 4 wings and 4 legs, you can also use thighs or breast.
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup orange juice 2 tbsp orange rind OR ½ cup water
  • Salt and pepper

For the Sauce:

To Serve:

Instructions

Prepare the chillies / Make chilli oil

  • Heat half a cup of vegetable oil in a medium frying pan and add your dried chillies. Heat them through gently until they just start to blacken, but don’t allow to burn (1-2 minutes).
  • Carefully remove the chillies from the oil and pop into a small bowl, then cover with boiling water and allow to soak for around 30 mins.

Cook the chicken

  • Pour the chilli oil into a large saucepan or casserole dish over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken pieces or whole and sprinkle with salt and pepper, three minutes or so per side (Watch out for spitting oil!).
  • Once cooked, return all the chicken to the frying pan (which you used to cook the chilli) and add the orange juice and half the chicken 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.

Make the mole sauce

  • Meanwhile, back in the large saucepan/casserole dish, heat up the chilli oil on a medium heat and add your chopped onion and garlic.
  • Next add the oregano, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cinnamon stick. Cook for a couple of minute or two until the spices are nice and fragrant.
  • Add in the peanuts, pepitas, torn chunks of bread, tomato puree and raisins, 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 stick blender or by transferring the sauce in batches into a food processor.
  • Add in your dark chocolate and allow to melt gently into the sauce. Give it a good stir and a taste test.

Add the chicken into the sauce

  • Place your cooked chicken (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!

Video

Recipe Notes

  • 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?!)
  • 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

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe with Dark Chocolate
Amount per Serving
Calories
752
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
53
g
82
%
Saturated Fat
 
26
g
163
%
Cholesterol
 
131
mg
44
%
Sodium
 
342
mg
15
%
Potassium
 
1115
mg
32
%
Carbohydrates
 
31
g
10
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Protein
 
40
g
80
%
Vitamin A
 
1086
IU
22
%
Vitamin C
 
87
mg
105
%
Calcium
 
105
mg
11
%
Iron
 
6
mg
33
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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
Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe with Dark Chocolate

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Priyanka Mustafi
    24/12/2019 at 3:42 am

    5 stars
    I am from India and a lot of ingredients are not that readily available here hence I had to substitute certain ingredients. Instead of brown onion i used ordinary white onion, instead of pepitas i used sunflower seeds and i didn’t have star anise nor orange juice at home hence gave both a miss and used lemon juice to add a bit of tang. But inspite of so many tweaks the recipe turned out amazing. I loved every morsel of it and thank you for educating me that chicken and chocolate go so well! Stoked 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/01/2020 at 2:47 pm

      Hey Priyanka! This is fantastic! Amazing work with the substitutes, I’m so glad it turned out just as tasty for you – that’s what you want! 🙂 I’m glad you can also love the combination of chocolate and chicken too – game changer!

    • Reply
      Denise Gillett
      08/08/2020 at 3:11 pm

      5 stars
      My mom would make chicken mole all the time; however she used a package from the Mexican market. I love mole with the dark chocolate and this is hands down one of the best moles I’ve had. I am so glad I came across your recipe, and I made this tonight. The flavors are absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

      • Reply
        Wandercooks
        10/08/2020 at 11:03 am

        Hey Denise – this is so amazing to hear. So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

  • 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

    4 stars
    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

    4 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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!

    Leave a Reply

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