🔥 Authentic Chicken Mole Recipe | Easy & Flavorful

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Recipes

In the bustling streets of Oaxaca, the rich aroma of mole being carefully stirred in clay pots envelopes the senses, inviting exploration. Traditionally, this sumptuous dish demands a meticulous balance of over 20 ingredients, each contributing to its intricate flavor profile. Yet, for many home cooks, replicating this culinary masterpiece often seems daunting, given the time and effort required. Enter the Instant Pot, a modern kitchen marvel that promises to bring the authenticity of a traditional chicken mole recipe to your dinner table with significantly less hassle.

The secret is to make the process easier while keeping the flavors that have made chicken mole a hit for years. This recipe picks key ingredients like chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a rich mix of spices. It ensures a rich taste without the usual days of cooking. Imagine enjoying moist chicken that’s perfectly cooked under pressure in 8 to 10 minutes. It’s topped with a sauce that mixes fire-roasted diced tomatoes, cocoa powder, cumin, and an unexpected touch of chocolate.

Whether you’re cooking for a big family meal or a quick dinner, this chicken mole recipe is perfect. It balances tradition with modern ease, making it great for both new and expert cooks. As you eat, you’ll feel the mix of flavors that have been loved for years.

Key Takeaways

  • An Instant Pot dramatically reduces the time required to create an authentic chicken mole.
  • The recipe uses key ingredients like chipotle peppers, cocoa powder, and chocolate for depth.
  • The cooking time for chicken breasts is 8 minutes and 10 minutes for chicken thighs under pressure.
  • The dish can be served in various ways, such as tacos, enchiladas, or over rice.
  • The recipe is streamlined, accessible for home cooks, yet retains its rich, complex flavors.

Introduction to Chicken Mole

Mexican chicken mole is way more than a dish. It represents a blend of history, culture, and flavors. This sauce shows the mix of native and colonial ingredients. It includes dried chiles, spices, and even chocolate.

Homemade chicken mole shines through its carefully selected parts. It features items like 4 pounds of chicken and a mix of dried chiles. The sauce gets its depth from these chiles. Chicken broth, raisins, and tomatoes add to the variety of tastes.

Other important ingredients include onion, peppers, and garlic. Nuts like almonds and sauces bring a rich flavor. Spices such as anise seeds and oregano add earthy flavors.

For texture, use crackers or a toasted roll, tortillas, and spices for seasoning. Avocado oil or lard, and chocolate, make the sauce smooth. Brown sugar can add a sweet touch if you like.

The cooking is a slow, careful process. It involves poaching the chicken and simmering the sauce. The time and attention make Mexican chicken mole a worldwide favorite.

Making homemade chicken mole lets you dive into tradition. Modern touches make this cultural dish accessible for everyone.

What Makes an Authentic Chicken Mole Recipe?

The charm of an authentic chicken mole recipe is in its mix of ingredients and deep history. Mole is a key sauce in Mexican cooking, known for its rich flavor. It also tells stories of its roots. Learn these aspects to really get the dish right and understand its importance.

The History of Mole Sauce

Mole comes from colonial Mexico, especially Puebla and Oaxaca. As the story goes, nuns made the first mole to welcome an archbishop. This marks the start of mole’s journey from religious dish to party favorite.

Classic chicken mole is well-loved for its blend of flavors. It mixes spices, peppers, and even chocolate in a special way.

Traditional chicken mole

Key Ingredients in an Authentic Mole

An authentic mole gets its special taste from carefully chosen items. Think about dried peppers like guajillo, pasilla, and ancho. These give a gentle heat and the sauce gets its color and richness from them.

Spices such as cumin and cinnamon, plus nuts and seeds, round out the flavors.

But, what really sets mole apart is the chocolate. It mingles with the pepper’s heat, adding creamy depth. This mix of sweet, sour, and hot is what characterizes great mole sauce.

Onions, garlic, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are also key. They are roasted before blending, adding deep, rich flavors. This method ensures every part brings something special to the sauce.

Ingredient Quantity Purpose
Guajillo Chiles 8 Provide mild heat and color
Pasilla Chiles 8 Add depth and spiciness
Ancho Chiles 8 Give a sweet, fruity undertone
Chocolate 1 tablet Balancing sweetness and richness
Sesame Seeds 1/4 cup For texture and nuttiness

In the end, the mix of flavors and deep history make mole sauce special. It’s a symbol of Mexican cooking, celebrated for its perfect blend of spices, peppers, and chocolate. Making an authentic chicken mole at home lets you taste the heart of Mexico in every spoonful.

Essential Ingredients for Easy Chicken Mole

For an outstanding easy chicken mole, the choice of spices is key. Cumin and cinnamon bring depth, and various chili peppers add the base flavor. The secret ingredient, chocolate, adds a creamy touch. Chipotle in adobo sauce gives a smoky vibe, mixing well with the sauce’s heat. This combo makes the best chicken mole recipe.

Spices and Seasonings

Cumin, cinnamon, and cloves are essential for the best chicken mole. They create a deep, rich taste. Many recipes, like mole poblano, use around 20 ingredients, from nuts to spices, to build a flavorful sauce.

The Role of Chocolate in Mole Sauce

Chocolate is the secret behind a great chocolate chicken mole. It sweetens the heat, dating back to times before the Spanish arrived in America.

“Its inclusion dates back to pre-colonial times, adding a rich sweetness that balances the heat from the chilies.”

Dark Mexican chocolate or dark chocolate turns the sauce lush, velvety, savory, and a little sweet.

Choosing the Right Peppers

Chilies are the star of mole sauce. Dried pasilla, negro, and ancho chilies add complexity. Picking the right mix brings out the sauce’s richness.

How to Prepare Chicken for Mole

Preparing the chicken for mole is key. You want it tender and juicy, fitting well with the mole sauce. Begin with four chicken quarters, bone-in, and skin-on. Cook them in water and peppercorns for about 40 minutes. This makes a soft base for the rich mole sauce.

Cook the chicken first. Then, set it aside as you make the mole. Reheat the chicken with the mole sauce for 10-15 minutes. This step makes sure the chicken is flavorful and juicy, blending well with the mole.

Determine your perfect mole sauce by how spicy you like it. Mix chilies like guajillo, de árbol, ancho, pasilla negro, and mulato together. This mix makes a somewhat spicy yet bittersweet dish, true to classic spicy chicken mole.

  • Soak the dried chilies in water. Use 2-3 cups of that water for the sauce for a smooth texture.
  • Add your chicken’s cooking water
  • to the sauce, and simmer for 20 minutes to thicken it.

  • Now,
  • Reheat the chicken
  • in the mole sauce. This step really brings the flavors together.

This recipe does take some time to prepare. It’s about 20 minutes to get started, then cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You’ll end up with a spicy chicken mole that’s bursting with flavor yet moist and delicious.

Step-by-Step Guide: Making the Mole Sauce

Making your own chicken mole sauce needs careful steps. You mix many flavors to make a delicious sauce. So, let’s learn how to create the perfect chicken mole sauce.

Blending the Perfect Mole Sauce

First, gather all your ingredients. This includes chiles like guajillo, pasilla, and ancho, Mexican chocolate, sesame seeds, and garlic.

Toast the chiles, then the garlic and other veggies too. Toasting enhances their taste. After toasting, blend everything smoothly. Next, simmer the sauce with chicken broth. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

Add salt and sugar to taste to your mole sauce. Cook it slightly with oil on medium heat, then mix in your chicken. You can use chicken pieces of your choice or follow the recipe. Serve your mole with traditional sides like rice and tortillas. This gives your chicken mole its rich taste.

Braise the chicken until it’s tender, which can take about an hour. This step ensures the sauce mixes well with the chicken. Add sliced almonds or sesame seeds when you serve.

Storing leftovers? Keep them in the fridge for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Enjoy your chicken mole, packed with deep flavors and tradition.

Instant Pot Chicken Mole: A Faster Alternative

Instant Pot chicken mole brings a fast, tasty alternative to classic recipes. It ditches the long cooking times but keeps the real flavors. This method is modern, fast, and full of taste.

Benefits of Using an Instant Pot

An easy chicken mole with the Instant Pot is a game-changer. It mixes about 20 to 30 ingredients quickly with less cooking time. In just 8 minutes under pressure, the flavor map changes, leaving dishes rich and true to their roots.

This technique doesn’t just make cooking quicker. It also captures the soul and depth of flavors in traditional moles. So, even on busy nights, you can enjoy a flavorful meal.

easy chicken mole

Instant Pot Chicken Mole Recipe

This chicken mole recipe is a tamer version of the original, making it with fewer ingredients and with the Instant Pot’s help. Items you’ll need are:

  • 2 cups of white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ¾ cup of low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 5 dried pasilla chiles
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • ¼ cup of peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of raw sugar, and more.

The method involves using the pressure cooker for the chicken. Then, the sauce is thickened on saute. One serving has 257 calories, 14g carbs, 37g protein, and more.

This dish can be enjoyed in many ways, like with tacos or over rice. It opens a world of taste possibilities.

Nutrition Per Serving 257 calories
Carbohydrates 14g
Protein 37g
Fat 7g (1g saturated fat)
Cholesterol 88mg
Fiber 4g
Sugar 7g

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Mole

In making Mexican chicken mole stand out, choose sides that mix tradition with a modern vibe. This meal matches well with both classic and new choices. It brings out its bold and spicy flavors perfectly.

Traditional Accompaniments

Go classic with sides like white rice or handmade tortillas for your chicken mole. They soak up the mole sauce, balancing the meal just right. Don’t forget about topping with Greek yogurt or sour cream. They cool the spiciness and add creaminess.

Modern Twists

Looking for something new? Try spicy chicken mole next to quinoa instead of rice. It’s a protein-packed change. Or, mix it up with a pineapple salsa. This bright dish is made of pineapple, avocado, and more. It will refresh the meal and boost the heat.

You can also add toasted almonds for a crispy touch. Or maybe some kale or broccoli for extra health. These tweaks keep your chicken mole fun and suited to any taste.

Stick to the classics or try out new flavors. The secret is to find the right balance of taste. This way, the delicious mole sauce gets to be the star with its perfect partners. This approach keeps Mexican chicken mole a top pick for food lovers everywhere.

Chicken Mole Recipe

This guide presents an easy chicken mole recipe. It captures the rich, complex flavors of Mexican cuisine. This recipe uses around 25 ingredients, including chilies, nuts, spices, and even chocolate. Preparing it takes about 20 minutes, and it cooks for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The quality of the ingredients is crucial for an authentic taste. Ay dark chiles and spices like cumin and coriander seeds make a flavorful mole sauce. This dish gives an explosion of taste in every bite. Plus, it’s easy for anyone to make at home.

You can adjust the mole sauce’s spiciness by changing the types of chilies. With a little effort, you can freeze the sauce for up to four months. Mole poblano, a famous type, often has chocolate and is used with turkey. Our recipe includes nearly 30 ingredients, taking you on a flavorful trip to Mexico.

easy chicken mole

Each serving of chicken mole is about 749 calories. It has 66g of carbs, 35g of protein, and 38g of fat. This recipe makes 10 servings, perfect for family meals. The chicken is braised in broth or beer for about 30 minutes until it’s fully cooked.

You can tweak the recipe to suit your taste. This makes it highly appreciated, scoring 4.86 out of 7. Whether you’re looking for an easy mole or a homemade one, this guide is for you. It helps you master the beloved Mexican classic.

Aspect Details
Total Preparation Time 2 to 3 hours
Number of Ingredients 25 to 30
Storage Up to 4 months in the freezer
Serving Size 10 servings
Calories per Serving 491 calories
User Ratings 4.86 out of 7

Comparing Traditional vs. Easy Chicken Mole

The age-old argument in making the perfect chicken mole is whether to go traditional or easy. Each choice has its benefits. It all depends on what you’re looking for when you step into the kitchen.

Time and Ingredient Differences

Traditional mole sauces are famous for being complex. They can have up to 29 different ingredients. Making it from scratch might take you all day. You’ll use things like dried guajillo or pasilla chiles, a mix of spices, nuts, seeds, and even plantains.

But, making it the easy way cuts down on time and ingredients. You’ll only need 12 to 13 items, and you swap in ancho chiles for a simpler preparation, but the essential flavors stay. In just 15 to 20 minutes, you can have a delicious sauce. This is great news for anyone who’s short on time but still wants a tasty dish.

Comparison Traditional Mole Easy Mole
Ingredients Up to 29 12-13
Cooking Time for Sauce 1 day 15-20 minutes
Main Chiles Used Guajillo, Pasilla Ancho

Flavor and Complexity

Authentic chicken mole is known for its unmatched flavor. The traditional way gives you layers of taste. It involves roasting, grinding, and slow-cooking each ingredient. This hard work results in a sauce that sings with harmony and richness.

But, easier methods can still get you close to that iconic flavor. They focus on simple ingredients like semisweet chocolate, peanut butter, and just the right mix of spices. This approach means you get a great mole without spending all day on it.

Choosing between traditional and easy mole depends on your time and how authentic you want to be. Both ways result in a tasty meal. Mole is a dish that can fit any style of cooking and event.

Troubleshooting Common Chicken Mole Issues

Both traditional and easy chicken mole recipes offer deep flavors but can be tricky to perfect. Knowing how to solve common problems ensures your dish impresses every time.

Chicken Mole Troubleshooting

If your mole sauce is too thin, simmer it longer. This will help it thicken up. You can also add more nuts or breadcrumbs to get the right consistency.

Getting the spice balance right can be tough because there are so many spices. A good spice mix is 2 tablespoons of mild chili powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Shake in some cayenne pepper for heat. If it’s too spicy, add chocolate or a little sugar. For more spice, gradually add more cayenne or chili powder.

Watch out for dietary needs. Some people can’t have chili peppers or chocolate because they cause migraines. You can adjust the spices or swap ingredients to cater to these needs.

For a perfect texture in easy chicken mole, sear the chicken well before you cook it in the sauce. Searing keeps the chicken moist and helps it soak up the sauce’s flavor. Use a 325 degrees Fahrenheit oven to keep the cooking even.

Issue Possible Solution
Sauce too thin Simmer longer, add more thickening ingredients
Sauce too thick Add more chicken broth or stewed tomatoes
Too spicy Add chocolate or sugar
Not spicy enough Increase chili powder or cayenne pepper
Chicken not tender Ensure proper searing and maintain oven temperature at 325°F

Addressing these common issues ensures that both traditional and easy chicken mole recipes turn out great. Following these tips will help you prepare this amazing dish with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mole

We’re here to answer your top mole sauce questions. This info will help you whip up a real deal chicken mole recipe. You won’t face any roadblocks.

What Makes Mole Sauce Unique?

Mole (pronounced “moh-leh”) is known for its deep, complex flavors. It’s from Mexico and has a reddish-brown color. This sauce can taste very different from one another.

The main taste of mole sauce comes from dried peppers. They use guajillo, pasilla, and ancho kinds for a bit of heat. Mexican chocolate is another key ingredient, giving the sauce a sweet and bitter taste.

The story goes that nuns in Mexico came up with mole. They used many items to make it, showing how unique the sauce really is.

How Do I Store and Reheat Chicken Mole?

Keeping and warming up chicken mole the right way keeps its great taste. Make it and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days. This way, you can taste the real chicken mole even if you cook it ahead.

When heating it again, use a low fire. This keeps the sauce just as flavorful and balanced as before. Following these steps makes sure you enjoy your authentic chicken mole at its best.

Additional Tips for Perfect Chicken Mole

For the best chicken mole, start by toasting your spices. This really boosts their flavors. Choosing dried chiles that are pliable is also important. It makes them blend better and taste richer.

Getting the right balance of ingredients matters a lot. Using the exact amount of dried chilies can deepen your sauce’s flavor. For a tastier dish, go for bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters. They add richness during braising.

Adding garlic and tomatoes can lift the sauce’s taste. A recipe with 12 garlic cloves and 4 1/2 cups of tomatoes is great. The mixture needs 3 1/2 cups of onions, plus sesame seeds and pepitas for crunch and flavor.

Don’t forget the 3-ounce Mexican chocolate disk. It gives your sauce that creamy richness. Simmer the sauce and chocolate with the chile mix for 20 minutes. This makes the sauce rich and flavorful. Finally, simmer the chicken in the mole until it’s heated through.

Serve your mole with cilantro lime rice, tortillas, beans, salsa, and guacamole. These sides really enhance your meal. You can keep any leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Or, freeze the sauce for up to 4 months.

Ingredient Quantity
Bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters 4
Dried guajillo chiles 8
Dried chiles de árbol 6
Dried ancho chiles 4
Dried pasilla negro chiles 3
Dried mulato chiles 2
Garlic cloves 12
Diced tomatoes 4 1/2 cups
Diced yellow onions 3 1/2 cups
Sesame seeds 1/2 cup
Pepitas 1/2 cup
Corn tortillas 3
Mexican chocolate disk 1 (about 3-ounces)
Active Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 8
Calories per serving 749 kcal

Mole Variations and Customizations

Mole sauce can change in many ways to match what you love. Do you enjoy something hot or maybe a little sweet? By altering classic mole, it becomes a dish designed just for you. We’ll explore some cool techniques to tweak your mole, making it tastier without losing its diverse flavors.

Adding Extra Heat

Love spicy food? You can make your mole hotter by adding more peppers. The original recipe has a mix of guajillo, pasilla, and ancho peppers, giving it a mild spice. To up that heat, throw in chipotle peppers in adobo or fresh jalapeños. Roast these peppers with your other ingredients to bring out their flavor. This keeps your mole balanced but extra spicy.

Sweetening the Mole

Prefer your mole on the sweet side? Just add more chocolate. A typical chocolate chicken mole has a little chocolate, adding a nice bittersweet taste. For more sweetness, mix in more chocolate or a bit of honey. Your mole becomes a rich, sweet sauce that still goes well with the chicken.

Adjust your mole to be spicier or sweeter for a new, delicious twist. It’s a perfect dish that everyone can enjoy, keeping the true taste of Mexico alive.

Customization Ingredient Effect
Extra Heat Chipotle Peppers, Fresh Jalapeños Increases spiciness
Sweetening Additional Chocolate, Honey Enhances sweetness
Flavor Balancing Salt, Sugar Adjusts overall taste


Looking back on creating a chicken mole recipe, we see its importance in Mexican cooking. This meal uses many unique ingredients. It contains chile pasilla, cumin seeds, and Mexican chocolate. Each one plays a part in its special taste.

The mole sauce reflects a mix of Indigenous and European food traditions. It comes from places like Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, and Puebla in Mexico. Ibarra chocolate is a key part, along with spices such as Mexican cinnamon.

Chile pasilla, a type of pepper, adds its own unique taste and color. This shows the complexity of chicken mole. It brings together many flavors to make a rich dish.

Making an authentic chicken mole at home is possible with the right knowledge. You need to know how to handle peppers and make the sauce just right. This way, your dish will share the history and spirit of traditional Mexican mole.

Thus, chicken mole not just offers great taste but also tells a story. It’s a connection to Mexican culture and its creative cooking style.


What makes mole sauce unique?

Mole sauce is known for its rich and varied taste. It blends different ingredients like peppers, spices, nuts, and chocolate. This mix gives it a special bittersweet note, making it truly authentic.

How do I store and reheat chicken mole?

To keep chicken mole fresh, store it in a sealed container and put it in the fridge. It will be good for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it, well wrapped, for up to 3 months.For reheating, gentle heat is best. Warm it on the stove slowly while stirring. Or, use a microwave if you prefer.

What is the history of mole sauce?

Mole sauce has ancient beginnings, from before colonial times. It has grown over the years with influences from indigenous and Spanish foods. Now, it’s a signature part of Mexican cuisine for special days and big flavors.

What are the key ingredients in an authentic mole?

Diverse and flavorful, an authentic mole uses ingredients like dried peppers, cumin, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. It’s the mix of these that creates its unique, deep flavor.

What is the role of chocolate in mole sauce?

Chocolate is a key player in mole sauce. It offers a rich and unique taste, adding a bittersweet layer. This makes the sauce smooth and flavorful.

How do I choose the right peppers for mole?

Choosing the right peppers is vital for the mole’s smoky and spicy notes. Peppers like ancho, pasilla, and chipotle each offer a special flavor. They enrich the mole’s taste.

How can I make an easy chicken mole?

Making an accessible chicken mole means keeping the process simple while using important ingredients. An Instant Pot or slow cooker can help. They blend the flavors well and save you time.

What are some traditional accompaniments for chicken mole?

Classic sides for chicken mole are rice, corn tortillas, and beans. These sides work well with the sauce’s rich and spicy flavors. It creates a complete meal.

Can I make spicy chicken mole spicier?

To make spicy mole even hotter, add more or spicier chili peppers. A little cayenne can also do the trick. Just make sure to balance the flavors, so it’s not too overpowering.

How do I add sweetness to mole without disrupting the flavor balance?

For a touch of sweetness in your mole, you can use more Mexican chocolate or sweeteners like honey or piloncillo. These add sweetness without taking away from the sauce’s rich taste.