Mole Poblano with Chicken

Mole Poblano with Chicken

So Chicken Mole Poblano.  I like moles quite a bit.  There are all manner of moles.  Pink, yellow, verde, Colorado, Oaxaca, Poblano…on and on.  They all have something going for them.  I love chocolate and any opportunity to work it into any recipe is reason enough for me to try it.  Top if off with being quite tasty to boot and what’s not to like?  I’m sure there would be a great swath of folks from Mexico, little old ladies and chefs alike, who’d argue that this is anything but a real mole.  A “real” mole might take hours and hours of cooking and roasting and all manner of wonderful things to make the very complex flavors that are indicative of them.  I don’t have 16 hours and neither do you (well maybe you do – I’m jealous if that’s the case.)  This recipe, however, is delightful, can be used any number of different ways, and is fairly quick to put together.  It’s also fairly complex, not overly chocolatey, and is quite spicy.  I’ve used this with chicken cut up, shredded, just made the sauce and drizzled it over whole chicken breasts, it works with eggs, making breakfast burritos, with pork….would you like me to go on?  It’s very versatile and it’s quite tasty.

I never would have tried this to be honest, but my other half loves this stuff and our inability to find a good one anywhere around our place meant I needed to find a recipe to make up for that inadequacy.  What emerged was this recipe (after some incredible disasters – stuff that tasted like chalk) but it’s a recipe which he loves, and so do I.

You can do this a number of different ways.  If you’d like the chicken inside the mole sauce – you can cut it into edible sized pieces and include it in the sauce.  You can roast a chicken or breasts before hand and shred the chicken into the sauce afterward, or keep the roasted parts whole and ladle big piles of the sauce over top.  You’ll have to figure out what you’d like to do and adjust accordingly.  Here I’m doing everything in one pot, since it’s easy and keeps from having to do a ton of dishes and pans.

Start with some chicken, 2 to 3 pounds maybe.  I cubed it into bite sized pieces.

Chicken Breasts for Mole Poblano with Chicken


Cut Chicken for Mole Poblano with Chicken

Get some oil going in the bottom of your cooking vessel.  Brown up the chicken bits.  Then set aside.  No need to drain the pot, that browned goodness at the bottom and little bit of oil will go quite nicely, thank you.

Chop up an 1 decent sized onion and 3, maybe 4 cloves of garlic.  Into the pot it goes.

Onion and Garlic for Mole Poblano with ChickenWhile that’s going along in the pan, start getting your spicy bits chopped up.  You can alter this depending on how spicy you like things, but this is good with a bit of heat (nothing crazy – enough to let you know you’re alive.)

2 Serrano or Jalapeno peppers and 1 large Poblano – maybe 2 if you’re feeling adventurous.

Peppers for Mole Poblano with ChickenThose can go right into the pot.  You’ll want to go to the tomatoes now.  I use a large can of diced and peeled tomatoes (28 oz if memory serves.)  You may want to use fresh tomatoes, more power to you.  With that you need about of a cup of chicken broth.  You can get away with vegetable broth if that’s all you have hanging around; I haven’t found much difference between using one or the other to be honest.  You can dump that right in your pot and keep going with the dry spices – the part that will give this dish some real kick.

Tomato for Mole Poblano with ChickenI get all the spices together in a little bowl and then dump it into the mix.  Helps me keep an eye on what’s going on.  Like Pooh, I am a bear of little brain.  So it helps me keep track of what I’m doing.

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf if you’re feeling bold – I don’t use them after almost swallowing one once.

Feel free to adjust that accordingly.  Like any kind of stew-ish type thing, you’ll need to make adjustments as you go along.  Don’t be afraid to expand and add things you might like or think will be good.  I play around with spices quite a bit.

Spices for Mole Poblano with ChickenAt this point you can let it cook over medium low heat for a while.  We like smoother type sauces so after it cooks for a bit, I generally ladle 80% of it out of the pot and into the blender.  Give it a few quick blips to liquefy things a bit, and then back into the pot.  You can pop the chicken in and lower the heat at this point.  You don’t want the heat to be high at all once the chocolate goes in.  Slow and steady wins the race.  You really risk scorching the chocolate if the heats up too high.  I err on cooking it lower and slower rather than having to throw away something that tastes like char.  Screw that.

About 2 ounces of chocolate.  Here you can also place around a little bit.  I use fairly high cocoa content chocolate.  60 – 70 % is probably a good rule.  You can also use a bit more if you’d like, just don’t go overboard.

Chocolate for Mole Poblano with ChickenYou don’t really need to chop it up, it’ll melt very quickly on its own.  Stir it in until it’s all dissolved, make sure your heat is down low.  Let it go for 20-25 minutes at this point.  Stir occasionally – sweep the bottom just to make sure you’re not burning anything – but if you’ve got it simmering at a low heat setting that shouldn’t be even close to an issue.

Mole Poblano with ChickenAnd you’re done!

Some folks will tell you that you need to add sesame seeds, or raisins, or both.  If you’d like to do that you can add both when you add the chocolate.  I’m not much on either in this dish – so I don’t.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (2-3 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers – diced
  • 1 or maybe 2 Poblano Peppers – diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf if you’re interested
  • Love


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