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