Homemade is Better—Chicken Mole

I have been craving mole for a few months.  It felt like such an odd dish to crave.  The last time I think I made it was in culinary school, which was at least 15 years ago.  I cannot find the source of my craving other than the chocolate in this recipe.

Since the recipe is long and complex, I broke it down into several parts.  For some of these ingredients, you’ll have to go hunting.  The peppers will likely be in your local Mexican grocer, and most other ingredients should be at your local mega mart.  I travelled to a specialty spice shop here in Edmonton to grab these peppers, but I could have looked for a South American or Latin grocery store.  When I was looking through various recipes for this, I was comparing which peppers most of them used.  Padilla seemed to be the most common, then ancho and chipotle were hit and miss.  I wanted a smoky flavour to this recipe; thus, I chose chipotle as one of my peppers, and ancho seemed like a great choice.

This recipe is easiest if you follow the directions from part one to the end.  I tried to be as descriptive as possible.  The peeled tomatoes, for example, are slightly tricky, not impossible, but a little more advanced.  If you don’t think you’re there yet, use canned whole tomatoes and remove the seeds.  If you want to try it, you are blanching the tomatoes to get the skin to let go.  Once you shock them in the ice bath, it is supposed to help the skin come off, a paring knife is a good tool for this job, but a spoon or fork could also work.  You’re just trying to remove the skin, not take chunks out of the tomato.

With the dried peppers, most seeds will come out if you cut the tops off.  You will not need the stem parts for this recipe, and the seeds are useless unless you want extra heat.  Once the peppers are seeded, you want to rehydrate them, which is why you keep the water from the tomatoes.  Toasting them before rehydrating brings out some flavour and adds to the overall recipe.

This recipe seems more complex than it is, but it is also time-consuming.  You will not make this recipe in less than five hours.  It will take you most of the day; however, fear not, as some parts can be done ahead of time.  You can boil the chicken and reserve it in the fridge with the strained broth for up to three days.  The pepper mixture can be refrigerated for a week, and the spices can be done on the day of cooking.  Completed, you can store this dish in the fridge for up to a week or four months in the freezer.  Freezing some of it is excellent if you want a quick meal for those busy nights.

Thank you to all my readers, those new and those that have been reading my articles for a long time.  I appreciate having an audience so I can get these ideas out! Cheers, and here is to a great 2023!

Chicken Mole


1 whole chicken – cut into 8
2 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
2 ribs of celery chopped
1 bay leaf
5-6 peppercorns
1 tbsp kosher salt


1/2lb lard (or canola oil)

Part 1:

5 pasilla chillies
6 Ancho
6 chipotle
2 tomatoes blanched, peeled and seeded
5 tomatillos
5 cloves of garlic roasted
1 onion diced

Part 2:

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
5 cloves
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano

Part 3:

1/4 cup raisins
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp thyme

Part 4:

3-4oz dark (70%) chocolate
4-5 cups chicken stock


Part 1:
  1. Boil chicken, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt until the chicken falls apart, about 2-3 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken and pull out the bones. Strain the liquid and save it for later.
Part 2:
  1. Set a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Grab a second bowl and add equal parts ice and cold water.
  3. Cut a small x in the bottom of the tomatoes.
  4. Heat tomatoes for 1 minute in the boiling water.
  5. Transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath, do not dispose of the water.
  6. Use a paring knife to remove the skin.
  7. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds.
  8. Cut the dried peppers to get the seeds outs.
  9. Toast the peppers for 1-2 minutes per side.
  10. Add the peppers to the boiled water and soak for 10 minutes.
  11. Roast garlic in the oven at 350F until it is golden brown.
  12. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the peppers and transfer them to a blender.
  13. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and tomatillos.
  14. Add 1 tbsp lard or oil to a skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat until they start to brown. When done, add them to the blender.
  15. Add 1 tbsp of lard or oil and toast the raisins and cinnamon. Add to the blender.
  16. Add 1/2 cup water from the peppers, and blend until smooth.
Part 3:
  1. Add another tablespoon of lard or butter, and then roast the almonds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Once toasted, add to a food processor.
  2. Dry out the skillet and toast the sesame seeds, coriander, clove, fennel, cumin, and oregano. Then add to the food processor.
  1. Pour the processed and blended ingredients into a pot along with the shredded chicken.
  2. Add the chicken broth and stir until it’s all mixed.
  3. Lastly, add the chocolate and stir until it has completely melted.
  4. Once the chocolate is melted, taste the sauce and add salt as needed.
  5. Cook some rice while the sauce simmers, and serve it up.