Moles are pureed sauces that originated with the Aztecs; they are based on dried chilies, toasted and ground with nuts or seeds that provide the thickening. They contain a variety of dried or fresh herbs and spices, as well as roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, garlic and fresh chilies. All the ingredients are prepared in an elaborate procedure to make a rich, thick, complex condiment used as a topping and filling for tortillas or a sauce for prepared meat.
To speed up the process in the kitchen and to cut back on the extensive amount of ingredients needed to create these incredible rich sauces, you can now buy the paste in almost any Mexican grocery store or even in national store food chains in the United States.
Here are the basic 7 steps you need to take when cooking a homemade Mole using a “Mole Paste”
Chicken Mole Poblano
1 Fresh chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 tbsp. oil
8-10 oz of Mole Paste or 1 (8.25-oz.) jar Dona Maria Mole
4 cups chicken broth
Sesame seeds for garnish
Rinse the chicken pieces under running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season them generously with salt and pepper, do the same if only using chicken breast.
Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides. As they brown, remove them from the skillet to a plate.
Pour off any excess fat, leaving about 1 tbsp. of fat in the frying pan and stir in the chicken broth
Add the mole sauce and stir it over medium heat for few minutes until the paste is dissolved and the mole begins to simmer, keep stirring until the ingredients are well combined. At this point you can add a little bit of Mexican Tablilla Chocolate or peanut butter to enhance the flavor.
Put the browned chicken into the mole sauce, and bring the sauce to a light boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer the chicken and sauce for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is done. Test by cutting into the largest piece of chicken to see whether all the pink color is gone.
Serve the chicken with rice and beans. Use the mole sauce as a gravy. Garnish the chicken with sesame seeds.
IMPORTANT: keep adding liquid as needed as it will continue to get thicker, the longer you cook it, the thicker it will become, you want to end up with a smooth rich “Gravy” like sauce.
Chef Martin Lopez