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5 May 2021

This Mexican chicken mole recipe is rich and flavorful with seasoned chicken that is braised until tender, then slathered with luxurious mole poblano sauce.

Today we are cooking a new favorite in the Chili Pepper Madness household, my friends. It’s my version of a classic Mexican recipe of bone-in chicken that is lightly seasoned, seared, then braised until it is fork tender.

Then, the chicken is smothered in a rich, earthy mole sauce that is made with nearly 30 different ingredients and warmed through. It’s called Chicken Mole, and I think it might be one of your favorites as well.

I just made a big batch of mole poblano sauce, which is a Mexican staple sauce, hugely popular in Mexican cuisine. My recipe makes 2 quarts, but the chicken mole only requires 2 cups, so I’m able to freeze the sauce for enjoying later with other meals.

To make this particular chicken dish, you’ll need to make the mole poblano sauce first, which can take a couple of hours. However, it is for a large batch, so you’ll have it on hand, like I do, for other dishes.

Patty is absolutely in love with this dish. I did my best to keep it as close to an authentic Mexican mole as I could, using only ingredients available to Mexican cooks, though you can make substitutions as needed.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Let’s talk about how we make chicken mole, shall we?

Chicken Mole in a pan with garnish

Chicken Mole Ingredients

  • Oil for Cooking. Use peanut oil, or you can use olive oil or lard.
  • Aromatics. Onion and jalapeno pepper, though you can use bell pepper for a milder version. 
  • Chicken. This recipe is great with bone-in chicken, though you an use boneless, such as chicken breast. I’m using chicken leg and thigh quarters, but use your favorite pieces.
  • Seasonings. Ancho powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Braising Liquid. Use chicken stock or chicken broth, or use a Mexican lager. I love mine when braised in beer.
  • Mole Poblano Sauce. You can use a store bought mole sauce, but it is so much better with a good homemade mole poblano sauce. Give it a try. It’s worth the time!
  • Garnish. Sesame seeds, spicy red pepper flakes, fresh chopped cilantro

Chicken Mole in a hot pan, ready to serve

How to Make Chicken Mole – the Recipe Method

Onion and Peppers. Add peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno pepper and cook 3-4 minutes to soften.

Season the Chicken. Pat the chicken dry and season all sides with ancho powder, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper.

Brown the Chicken. Sear the chicken 5 minutes per side, until lightly golden brown.

Seared chicken to make chicken mole

Braise the Chicken. Add the broth or beer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through and measures 165 degrees F internally with a meat thermometer. You may need 30 minutes.

Adding liquid to the pan to braise the chicken

Warm with Mole Sauce. Remove chicken from the pot and add to a medium sized pan. Pour mole sauce over the chicken and gently heat until the sauce is warmed, stirring occasionally.

Mole Poblano sauce on a spoon

Garnish and serve.

Boom! Done! Your chicken mole is ready to serve, my friends. Looks wonderful, doesn’t it? Serve it as it over Mexican rice, or you can shred the chicken and use it to make delicious tacos on corn tortillas, tortas, enchiladas, you name it. Patty’s favorite is chicken mole tostadas. Outstanding.

Chicken Mole in a hot pan

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Mole Sauce. There are many different types of mole sauce in Mexican cuisine, but mole poblano is what most people think of when they think of mole. This homemade mole poblano recipe is huge on flavor and definitely worth the effort. However, you can easily use your favorite brand from your Mexican grocer. Learn more – what is mole sauce?
  • Variations. I’ve seen simple mole recipes that use peanut butter to achieve a smooth texture, but there is nothing like a good homemade mole sauce, which uses peanuts, almonds and so much more to offer that nutty flavor and texture. Chipotle peppers are a nice addition as well for a smoky addition. You can also simmer your chicken in a slow cooker with mole sauce until the chicken is fork tender, then shred and serve as desired. See below.
  • How to Serve Chicken Mole. Patty’s favorite way to enjoy this recipe is for me to remove the fatty chicken skins, then shred the chicken from the bone. Discard the bones, then stir the shredded chicken back into the mole sauce. She loves it over crispy tostada shells, or served up on corn tortillas with lots of fixings. Chicken mole tacos, anyone? Absolutely delicious. Or, simply serve the tender chicken pieces over Mexican rice.

Chicken Mole on a plate with Mexican rice

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this amazing chicken mole recipe. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you and how you served it up.

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Two pieces of Chicken Mole

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Chicken Mole Recipe

This Mexican chicken mole recipe is rich and flavorful with seasoned chicken that is braised until tender, then slathered with luxurious mole poblano sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, Mexican, mole sauce, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 749kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or use olive oil or lard
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken I'm using chicken leg and thigh quarters, but use your favorite pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ancho powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock or broth or use a Mexican lager
  • 2 cups mole poblano sauce (Use this homemade mole poblano sauce, or your favorite brand)
  • FOR GARNISH: Sesame seeds, spicy red pepper flakes, fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Add peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat.
  • Add the onion and jalapeno pepper and cook 3-4 minutes to soften.
  • Pat the chicken dry and season all sides with ancho powder, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper.
  • Sear the chicken 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned.
  • Add the broth or beer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and measured 165 degrees F internally with a meat thermometer.
  • Remove chicken from the pot and add to a medium sized pan. Pour mole sauce over the chicken and gently heat until the sauce is warmed.
  • Garnish and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 749kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 1756mg | Potassium: 898mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 664IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg
Chicken Mole Recipe
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