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Rich Red Mole with Chicken


I have shied away from making Mole for a while. Mainly because it seemed very complicated. Well it is! But it was SO WORTH IT! This meal took us a really long time to make and a lot of effort, but now with one mole under my belt, I feel like I understand the dish a bit better and would be able to make another much easier. Now in my head, Mole has become like a curry, but instead of making the paste with raw spices and herbs, we must first cook the ingredients, make the paste, and then cook them some more! With this mindset, Mole becomes more approachable to me. There are many shortcut moles out there, but you know me, I have to go to the most authentic recipe I can find. This is where Rick Bayless comes in. We got this recipe from his book "Authentic Mexican." I was not going to put up this recipe, and just suggest buying the book, but lucky for you all, I found it online! The link is at the bottom of the page, along with the tamale recipe.

Make sure you get raw peanuts, in the shells and the skin.

These were not the exact chiles, but it's what we could find. At least we found the most important one, Anchos.

Here Mandi is breaking the chiles down and getting them ready to cook.

This is a plantain.

Making a paste with oregano, thyme, cinnamon, bay leaf, peppercorns, chocolate, and cloves.

This is the bowl of items ready to be blended into mole. We start with some tomatoes we have cored and skinned. Then some tomatillos we simmered for about 10 minutes. Then the paste Mandi just made..

This mix is diced jalapenos, smashed corn, and grated onion. This is for the tamale.

With these pictures, I am hoping to show you the difference in color before and after I fry the ingredients. The sesame seeds didn't get that much color though. After they cook, into the bowl with the tomatoes.

The chiles only need about 5 seconds in the hot oil. Do them in small batches so youo can manage it.

Next, dump boiling water over them and allow them to reconstitute.

More tamale ingredients.

We saved 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water to mix with the cornmeal. After 10 minutes, add the masa harina.

you want to save the chile oil to fry the rest of the ingredients, but I wanted to strain it to take out the little burnt pieces.

Making mole is a lot of work. You need a snack in the middle. Since we bought corn tortillas to add one to the recipe, we decided to fry up the rest and get some restaurant style tortilla chips.

Salt them right out of the oil.

MMM we made this salsa the other day from the recipe at the bottom of the page.

Back to work prepping the mole! Peanuts in, peanuts out. They took about 5 minutes.

Rasins next.

Get the onions and garlic nice and browned. Squeeze out the excess oil before adding it to the mole bowl.

Mandi finished up the tamales as I finished the frying.

These corn husks have been soaking in water for an hour.

Plantains are last. Now take that big bowl of stuff and toss it into the blender with a cup of chicken stock. Puree until smooth. Remove it from the blender and clean out the blender.

Quarter the chicken so you get 2 nice big leg/thigh portions, and 2 breasts. Save the rest of the chicken to make stock later.

Brown the chicken well on the outsides.

Strain out the chiles. We like to save that nice chile stock, but most recipes throw it away! We made a mess trying to save it.

Blend thoes chiles up good. Add a half cup of the chile stock, and a half cup of chicken stock.

Add this chile paste into the pot and cook that till it browns. Note the difference in color in the pictures?

After 3 or so minutes, add in the mole paste.

MMM chocolate swirl! I was getting strong notes of cinnamon at this point and I didn't really have high hopes for the final outcome of the dish. Anyways, let this simmer partially covered for 45 minutes.

This would be a good time to start steaming the tamales.

After 45 minutes, the dark meat goes in. 10 minutes later, the breasts. 13 minutes after that, they should be done.

Yum. Looks kinda like BBQ chicken.

So I was wrong when I thought it would be too cinnamony. The flavors were fantastic. It was such a deep rich smoky flavor that contrasted well with the light, tender and delicious chicken.

As Raymond Blanc says, this recipe seems "a bit daunting", but trust me, if you are at all interested in these flavors, or true Mexican food, MAKE THIS! It was amazing. We also ended up with a bit of mole left, so we froze it to have an easy weeknight meal at some point. Just defrost and add chicken! The point is, all of this work also allowed us to eat twice rather than just once.

Mole Recipe from Rick Bayless.

Mix 2/3 cup very finely ground cornmeal with 1 and ¼ cups boiling water. let stand 10 minutes. Mix in ¾ cup of masa harina.
Mix with half an onion grated
4 jalapenos diced
2 cups of frozen corn, thawed and mashed/diced
Half stick melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

Wrap mixture in corn husks that have soaked in water for an hour. Steam tamales for an hour to an hour and a half. If using a tiered steamer, swap tiers half way.

7 tomatoes (rinsed)
5 tomatillios (cover removed, rinsed)
4 cloves garlic (peeled)
5 jalapenos (tops removed)
4 white onions (peeled and halved)

cover with water, bring to a boil, cook until tender, skin tomatoes, blend with salt/pepper, let cool, lime juice, cilantro, more s&p to taste


First off, let me give kudos to you two, you are such adventurous cooks, and seem willing to tackle anything.

Now please allow me to be a bit nitpicky here. The recipe you have linked is indeed in that book, but it is called 'Mole Rojo con Pollo,' and I know that's not your fault! It's that other guys' mistake on that link! The Mole Poblano (the recipe immdiately preceding it in the book) is similar, but uses some different chiles, different spices, no plantain, turkey broth instead of chicken, almonds instead of peanuts, etc. What? I told you I was going to be nitpicky.

And me? I have made that Mole Poblano numerous times over the years. It usually makes enough that I can it, as it is so time and labor intensive. Believe me, I KNOW. I have eaten it at his restaurants, and got one of my cookbooks signed by him when we were last there. Yeah, I'm a BIG fan of his. Stalker would be overstating it. ;)

One time I made it (referred to as the Great Ancho Chile Frying Incident of 2002), the fire department came (in January, in Chicagoland) because of our smoke alarm going off, and they had to put up gigantor fans and open up all the windows in the house in 20 degree weather to get all the smoke out. The fire truck was out in front on the street and everything. The firemen couldn't believe it. Since then, I do the chile frying outside on the burner on the grill.

Was it all worth it? Hell, yeah.

That is one fabulous meal. Well done.

Hi Peggasus,

yes, the link has the name wrong, but it is the same one we have made here. it is a little easier(ha) than the Mole Poblano you are talking about making. I wasn't going to transcribe the recipe from the book(not really something I like to do morally or physically) so when I saw it listed on that guy's site, I put up the link so people could try it if they wanted.

anyways, I'd agree with you any day. its totally worth it!!! I do want to try the mole poblano some day now that I have completed my entry level Mole.

Have you heard of mole verde? It can also be called pipian- If you liked this, I would recommend trying a mole verde. It's a lot easier, and in my opinion, much better tasting than any red or brown mole.

I did a couple of searches, food blogs and yahoo, so see if any recipes floating around for pipian were similar to mine, and although most are fairly accurate as far as ingredients, the actual instructions are either vague or incorrect. HomesickTexan has a decent recipe, but mine is more authentic. I can say this without doubt because it comes from my boyfriend's mother, (both of which are native Mexicans) and it was given to me only after months of begging.

I'll type out my recipe when I get home from work(it is scribbled in spanish on the back of a napkin as is) and send it to you. I really feel like yall would enjoy it. I just get so excited when I see folks interested in authenticity, as far as Mexican cuisine goes.

I want to move in with Natalie! I also prefer a green over brown or red mole any day. That goes for salsas and sauces too though. In mole, it's actually the chocolate that puts me off. (Did you see Ingrid's disgusting mole this weekend?)But this recipe looks like there is so much going on that no one particular ingredient is in the forfront. It looks amazing. But I was drooling over the tamale the most. :-)

P.S. I can't believe I wasn't invited over for this meal. Maybe I won't invite you to my 7th Annual Mexican party afterall.

I've never tried mole but keep hearing lots of good things about it. It's not very popular here so it's kind of hard to find someone who will cook it for me. Im kinda lazy to make it myself & i know i'll make a HUGE mess if i tried, which = mum going nuts at me.

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