Chicken Mole Recipe

Shortcut Chicken Mole (serves 4)
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Tomatoes? Chocolate? Nuts? Together? Yes, in mole! Mole is a term that applies to many different types of sauces cooked in Mexico. Oaxacan mole is popular in the United States, and there are as many recipes as there are people in Oaxaca! It always has dried chilies and chocolate, with different spices, nuts, and seeds, and a number of other ingredients including plantains, corn tortillas, dried fruit, orange peel, tomatoes, the list goes on and on!
A traditional mol´┐ę has a massive ingredient list, and cooks for up to three days to simmer and develop flavors. Most of us dont have time for that, so try this easy version using supermarket and pantry ingredients. Ole!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion
2.5 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter
16 ounce can or 2 cups canned whole or crushed tomatoes (NOT with basil)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons raisins
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1.5 pounds raw chicken breast tenders


Make the sauce:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring often to prevent burning, for about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the spices, cocoa powder, peanut butter, tomatoes, garlic, raisins and broth.
  3. Bring to a simmer (there will be little bubbles around the edge of the pot) and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Cook the chicken:
Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add chicken tenders and cook over medium-high, about 5 minutes on one side. Turn to other side and cook another 5-7 minutes. Slice the thickest one in half and make sure it is white throughout and the juices run clear. A meat thermometer should register 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is not read, continue to cook until it is no longer at all pink and is 165 degrees.

Serve the mole:
Transfer chicken to plates and top with sauce. If you have sesame seeds, those are a traditional topping! Serve with rice and a salad for a balanced meal.