This Mexican 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 (unless you’ve tried mole, of course).
1 hour 45 mins
How to make it
TO MAKE THE MOLE
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas 4).
- Put the onion, garlic and a slug of oil in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes.
- At the same time, put the chicken thighs in another oven dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes.
- While they are cooking, heat a little olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the raisins. Cook for a few minutes until they puff up. Remove and leave aside.
- Add the nuts to same pan without any more oil and toast for a few minutes, moving them around frequently. Remove and leave aside.
- Heat a little more oil in the pan over a high heat, add the brioche chunks and fry for a few minutes until beginning to crisp up all over. Remove and leave aside.
- Add a little more oil and fry the plantains for 6–7 minutes until just turning golden. Remove and leave aside.
- Wash and dry the pan, then return it to the heat. Add half the sesame seeds, the pumpkin and cumin seeds, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns and cloves. Toast for a few minutes until fragrant. Tip into a food processor or spice grinder and blitz into a fine powder.
- Add the plantain, roasted onion and garlic, chopped tomatoes and dried herbs to the spices in the blender and blitz to a smooth purée. Remove and leave aside.
- Wash and dry the blender, then add the tortilla chips and toasted brioche and blitz to fine breadcrumbs. Remove and leave aside.
- Into the same blender, put the toasted nuts, chipotle chilli paste, chocolate, raisins and a ladle full of chicken stock. Blitz to a smooth paste.
- In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, chocolate and nut purée and tomato purée. Mix well.
- In a saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter then whisking in the flour. Stir constantly for a few minutes to cook the flour.
- Gradually add the purée and chicken stock to the pan, whisking continuously. You’re looking for a smooth sauce that’s not too thick, but not too thin either. You may not need all of the chicken stock, but make it thinner than you’d like it to end up as it will thicken as it cooks.
- Bring the sauce to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding chicken stock if it gets too thick.
- Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the oven, remove the bones and shred the meat, leaving it in the juices.
- You will probably need to add a good pinch of salt to the mole, but taste it after it has been cooking for an hour or so and use your judgement.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken and juices and warm up. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted sesame seeds and serve with pickled cabbage and rice.
TO MAKE THE PICKLED CABBAGE
- Mix the cabbage, onion, vinegar and ground fennel seeds, then leave to soak for 20 minutes.