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Chicken Mole

This chicken mole recipe takes inspiration from traditional mole negro and poblano recipes popular in Mexico.

Although it takes a little while to prepare and requires a lengthy ingredients list, we think it’s well worth the effort, and once it’s ready you’ll have a dish quite unlike anything you’ll have tried before.


  • Prep time

    1 hour

  • Cook time

    45 mins

  • Total time

    1 hour 45 mins

  • Ideal for


  • Make it


  • Serves


How to make it

  1. If making your own chicken stock, you’ll want to do this first so it’s good to go when you need it. Or you could use chicken stock cubes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  3. Peel & quarter onion. Place in roasting tin with whole garlic cloves and a little olive oil. Place in oven and roast for 30 mins.
  4. In another oven dish, place chicken thighs (remove skin if necessary) and add a little olive oil, salt & pepper. Cover in foil and roast for 45 mins. (This, along with the onion/garlic, could be done in advance)
  5. Meanwhile, heat a pan with a little oil and add the raisins. Heat and cook until they begin to puff up (after a few minutes). Take care not to burn. Remove and leave aside.
  6. Add nuts to same pan without any more oil and toast for a few minutes, moving around regularly. Remove and leave aside.
  7. Tear brioche into chunks and add to same pan with a little oil. Heat on high until beginning to crisp up all over. Remove and leave aside.
  8. Add a bit more oil and fry tortillas until crispy, but not burnt.
  9. Next, peel and roughly chop plantains. Add to pan with a little oil and fry until beginning to turn golden. This will take about 6-7 minutes. Remove and leave aside.
  10. Wash pan and return to heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns and cloves. Toast in dry pan until fragrant (a few minutes). Remove and pour into a food processor/spice grinder (hold back half the sesame seeds). Blitz into a fine powder.
  11. Add spice powder to food processor along with plantain, roasted onion/garlic, chopped tomatoes and dried herbs. Blitz to a smooth puree. Remove and leave puree aside.
  12. Add crispy tortillas and toasted brioche to clean & dry food processor. Blitz to fine breadcrumbs. Remove and leave aside.
  13. No need to clean food processor. Add the toasted nuts, Gran Luchito Chipotle Paste, chocolate, raisins and a ladle full of chicken stock. Blitz to a smooth paste.
  14. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, chocolate/nut puree & tomato puree. Mix well.
  15. In a saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter then adding the flour. Stir constantly for a few minutes to cook flour.
  16. Gradually add the puree and chicken stock to the saucepan and whisk in as you go. You’re looking for a smooth sauce that’s not too thick, but not too think either. You may not need all of the chicken stock, but you’re going to simmer it for 45 mins, so make it thinner than you’d like it to end up as it will thicken.
  17. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently for an hour, stirring occasionally and adding chicken stock if it gets too thick.
  18. Meanwhile, remove chicken from oven and remove bones (if necessary). Shred meat and leave in juices.
  19. This is also a good time to prepare the pickled cabbage and rice.
  20. For the cabbage, shred it along with the onion as finely as possible (use a mandolin if possible, but be very careful).
  21. Add to a bowl along with red wine vinegar. Pound fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar and add to cabbage. Mix well and leave to soak in.
  22. Add rice to a saucepan with a pinch of salt, a whole star anise and a cinnamon stick. Add double the volume of water to rice and bring to a boil with a lid on. Lower heat and simmer until water has gone. If possible, don’t remove lid whilst rice is cooking. When ready to serve, stir through a handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander.
  23. You will probably need to add a good pinch of salt to the mole, but taste after it has been cooking for an hour or so and use your judgement.
  24. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded chicken and cooking juices and warm up if necessary. Sprinkle with remaining toasted sesame seeds and serve with pickled cabbage and rice.


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