There are many types of mole found throughout Mexico. The term mole stems from the Nahuatl world molli, which means “sauce” or “concoction.” Mole is characterized by layered flavors derived from intricate blends of dried chiles, spices, fruits, and seasonings. Each mole is as different and complex as the person who makes it.
In this class we learn a simple mole sauce for chicken that is to be served with rice and tortillas.
I learned this recipe from Señora Soledad outside of the city of Oaxaca who has been cooking since she was a little girl. In her older age, she now offers cooking classes in her outdoor kitchen from her simple home.
This sauce is usually served with white rice and corn tortillas. This sauce is best made the day before because it is more flavorful the day after. It can be kept in the fridge for a week or so and successfully frozen for months. Traditionally, the ingredients are toasted and ground on the metate. Most people in Oaxaca will prepare the ingredients and grind them at a molino in town. We will blend our ingredients in the blender using chicken broth.
If you do not have some of the ingredients listed below I recommend you try and find a local Mexican Grocery in your hometown which most likely will have everything you need.
Tienda Salsita is launching a Mole Box for this class and you can purchase it here.
You will need three medium sized bowls, hot water, a cast iron pan/comal, and a large cazuela or dutch oven.
- 6 – 8 cups homemade chicken broth
- Toast one fourth cup of sesame seeds* and set aside.
- Small chunk Oaxacan Chocolate
Step 1. On a hot cast iron pan or comal char- but DO NOT BURN
- 5 - 8 Ancho chiles
- 10 - 12 Guajillo chiles
- burn 1 tortilla until black
Take the seeds out of the charred chiles and set aside.
Then put your chiles in hot water to soften them. Set aside to let soak for 15-20 min. When soft, blend all chiles together in hot water or chicken broth- set aside to use later.
Step 2. In your cazuela or dutch oven fry the following in vegetable oil- set aside
- 1 plantain sliced
- 5 almonds
- 5 pecans
- a small handful of raisins
- a small handful of pumpkin seeds*
- 1 T toasted sesame seeds
Step 3. In your cazuela or dutch oven fry the following together in vegetable oil- set aside
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 diced onion
- 2-3 large red diced tomatoes
- 1 pinch of cumin
- 1 pinch of Mexican Oregano*
- 1 pinch of thyme
- 1 clove
- small piece of 3 in Mexican Cinnamon*- canela broken into small pieces
- 1 slice of pan de yema (yolk bread) or dried croissant OR for GF a burnt tortilla…
Step 4. Put all ingredients EXEPT CHILES in blender-
Almonds, pecans, sesame seeds* save some to decorate the finished product,
raisins, garlic, tomatoes, onion, cumin, oregano, thyme, clove, bread, and
cinnamon into a blender with enough chicken broth or water to make a liquid
Heat oil into a large cazuela or pot- add in your tomato blend to fry in oil until it changes color a bit. Stir this in the pot until the flavors start to smell and the color starts to change.
Step 5. Blend chiles separately. Then add in your blended chiles to your cooking pot. Stir continuously so not to burn the mole! Cook for 30 – 60 minutes. Add chicken broth to make the sauce thinner if it gets too thick.
This recipe is about intuition… how thick do you want your sauce to be? The longer you cook and stir the mole, the more flavors will meld. Taste as you go so you can see the flavors changing.
Season mole with a small chunk (or as much as you prefer) of Oaxacan Chocolate –
preferably made with sugar and canela and let melt in the mole.
Serve mole with rice, slices of fried plantain, chicken, and tortillas. Sprinkle with
remaining sesame seeds.