Easy Mexican Mole Sauce Recipe

Chicken with Mole
Chicken pieces in traditional mole sauce. photo (c) Trinette Reed / Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings mole sauce
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Mole (pronounced in two syllables, moe-leh) is a classic Mexican chile sauce with origins in pre-Hispanic times.

It exists in countless versions throughout the country, varying in color, consistency, ingredients and use according to geographical location, family tradition, and local preference.

Mole is most often used as a sauce for chicken, but pork or turkey are also commonly used. Leftover mole sauce is excellent for making enchiladas or using as a condiment for rice, eggs, and other foods.

 

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup pork lard
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 tomatoes, roasted and peeled
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts or unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 stick cinnamon, broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 3 whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 12 guajillo chiles, soaked in hot water, skinned, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in water to soften
  • 1/4 cup prepared masa (raw corn tortilla dough)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Toasted sesame seeds garnish (optional)

How to Make It

Note: Traditional cooking methods call for grinding each ingredient by itself in a molcajete (mortar and pestle), but a blender will do the job just fine.

  1. Heat the lard in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Set aside.

  2. In a blender, purée the roasted tomatoes with the peanuts or peanut butter. Add the oregano, cinnamon, anise, peppercorns, thyme, clove, and cocoa powder and blend to make a smooth paste.

  1. Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the blender container and purée again. Add the chiles and raisins and blend into a smooth paste.

  2. Pour all the chicken broth except for 1/4 cup into a large cooking pot.

  3. In a separate small bowl, make a roux by mixing the masa with the reserved 1/4 cup chicken broth. Stir the roux into the broth and whisk until smooth.

  4. Add the puréed ingredients to the pot. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Uncover and continue cooking until mole has thickened to your liking.

  5. Use your homemade mole as a sauce for boiled chicken or turkey pieces, or cooked chunks of pork, sprinkling toasted sesame seeds over each portion as it is served if desired. Any leftover mole will be delicious poured over rice or fried eggs or used as an enchilada sauce.

Traditional Mole

Traditional moles often contain 40 or so different ingredients and take multiple days to prepare.

Fortunately, prepared mole pastes -- ready to eat after diluting and heating -- are easy to find in supermarkets nowadays in and outside of Mexico.

If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, try the greatly simplified (though still tasty) made-from-scratch recipe provided above.

-Edited by Robin Grose