Lacquered Chicken with Red Mole

Click here for a PDF of this recipe without photos.

As mole recipes go, this one is as easy as it gets.  That said, it’s still a fair amount of work.  All of that work can be done a day or two in advance, making it a great option for entertaining.  

Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless’ Fiesta at Rick’s

For the Mole

  • 5 oz tomatillos
  • ¾ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup pork lard6 dried mulato chiles
  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 5 dried pasilla chiles
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ tsp freshly ground Mexican cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground anise
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
  • 1 slice white bread, toasted and broken into pieces
  • 1 oz Mexican chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ½ quarts chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 1/8 (or less) cup sugar

For the Chicken

  • 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • ½ cup agave syrup

The Mole can be made up to 2 days in advanced and reheated before serving.  Begin by roasting the tomatillos under a broiler for about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer from baking sheet to a large bowl.  Over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Transfer half of them to the bowl with the tomatillos and save the remaining half for garnishing the chicken.

Remove stems and seeds from all of the dried chiles.  Heat lard over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven.  Fry all of the chiles (working 2 or 3 at a time) for about 30 minutes per side.  Transfer toasted chiles to a bowl and cover with warm water.  Allow to rehydrate for at least 30 minutes.

Using the same pot and the same lard you used to toast the chiles, fry garlic and almonds until the almonds are brown and the garlic is soft, about 5 minutes.  Scoop them out of the pot and add to the tomatillos.  Add the raisins and cook for about 30 seconds.  Scoop them out of the pot and add to the tomatillos.  Turn off the heat..  Add the cinnamon, pepper, anise, cloves, bread, and chocolate to the tomatillos.  Add 2 cups of warm water and stir.

Scoop half of the chiles into a blender along with enough of the soaking liquid (unless it is bitter in which case you can use water) to enable the blender to fully blend them to a smooth puree.  Pour into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer, removing any stray seeds or bits of skin as you do so.  Repeat with the other half of the chiles and soaking liquid or water.

Clean the blender jar and blend the tomatillo mixture (adding a little more water if necessary).  Strain into a large bowl.

Turn the heat back on under the pot with the lard.  When it is hot, pour the chile puree into the pot.  Stir almost constantly for 20 – 30 minutes until the mixture is the consistency of tomato paste. When it has thickened sufficiently, pour in the strained, blended tomatillo mixture.  Continue stirring until it is thick and dark – about 20 minutes more.  Add the broth to the pot and simmer (low to medium heat) for about two hours, until flavors are well blended and the consistency is roughly the same as a cream soup.  Remove from heat, allow to come to room temperature, and transfer to a storage container to refrigerate.

Preparing the chicken – about 2 hours before you want to eat, remove the chicken from the fridge to allow it to start coming to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350.  About 1 hour 15 minutes before you want to eat, season the chicken with salt and bake for about 45 minutes (until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature).  Meanwhile, add one cup of the mole and the agave nectar to a small saucepan and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened.  Remove from heat.  When the chicken has reached 165 degrees (about 30 minutes before you want to eat), remove from the oven and turn the oven up to 400.  Brush the mole / agave nectar mixture over the chicken and sprinkle with the reserved toasted sesame seeds.  About 20 minutes before you want to eat, return to the oven for 10 minutes to set the glaze.  Remove from heat and allow to rest of 10 minutes before serving.

22 Responses to “Lacquered Chicken with Red Mole”

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