Layers of complex and bold flavors simmer together to make this delicious CHICKEN MOLÉ WITH HOMEMADE MOLÉ SAUCE. Served over rice, wrapped in warm tortillas, or piled on a bed of fresh greens, the Homemade Chicken Molé dinner options are endless.
I have had Chicken Molé on my list of things to make for over a year. It’s comforting, fresh, versatile, and one of those classic Mexican dishes that I just had to learn how to make myself.
But, as with most things in life, life would always seem to get in the way or I would get distracted by a million other projects.
Well, I am so happy I finally made this Chicken Molé with Homemade Molé Sauce a priority. It surpassed my expectations and it made so much extra sauce that I won’t have to make it again for… a while. Which, when you see the ingredient list, you’ll see why this is a good thing.
So, speaking of the ingredients, there’s a lot of them. I know, you guys. And I know that the list may look totally intimidating. But DON’T RUN! If you love Chicken Molé, you’ll be so super happy you made your own. And this recipe makes extra, so you can easily make several different dishes out of it.
Just in case I haven’t won you over yet, here are some other reasons why this Chicken Moleé should be part of your next meal plan-
- You get a whole lot more bang for your buck than you would if you went to a Mexican restaurant. The last time I ordered Chicken Molé at a restaurant it cost a whopping $16! That’s a lot of money, you guys! And just one serving.
- Once you get past the long list of ingredients, the process is actually quite simple. Lengthy, but simple.
- There’s chocolate.
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CHICKEN MOLÉ WITH HOMEMADE MOLÉ SAUCE
FOR THE CHICKEN
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 pounds chicken breast
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups orange juice
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 8 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
- 4 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp whole anise seeds
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 ounces dried pasilla chiles, stem removed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
- 1 ounce dried negro chiles, stem removed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
- 1 ounce dried ancho chiles, stem removed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
- 1 ounce dried chipotle chiles, stem removed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3.1 ounces dark Mexican chocolate (or just dark chocolate), chopped
- Fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
FIRST COOK THE CHICKEN
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pot, swirling to cover the entire surface. Working in batches, sauté the chicken on each side until lightly browned, approximately 3-4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Sauté remaining chicken breasts, adding additional olive oil to the pot, as needed.
- Return the chicken with juices back to the pot or Dutch oven. Add the chicken broth and orange juice to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Approximately 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove chicken to a clean bowl and set aside. Reserve broth for later use.
FOR THE SAUCE
- Heat olive oil in a separate large and heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown and just starting to caramelize, approximately 12 minutes. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium. Add the pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, whole star anise, and whole cloves to the saucepan. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until garlic becomes fragrant, stirring continuously.
- Add the dried chiles to the pot and stir to combine. Sauté for approximately 2-3 minutes or until chiles start to soften.
- Grab the reserved chicken and orange broth and carefully pour the liquid into the saucepan with the onion and chiles. Reserve pot for later. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, raisins, marjoram, thyme, and oregano to the saucepan and mix well. Bring to a low boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until chiles are very soft, approximately 30-34 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate. Allow sauce to cool for 10 minutes and the chocolate to melt.
- Working in batches, transfer sauce mixture to the bowl of a blender and process until smooth. Avoid overfilling. Transfer mixture to the reserved pot. Repeat until all sauce is processed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
PUT IT TOGETHER
- Shred chicken and combine with approximately half of the sauce mixture. Add more sauce, as desired. Reserve remaining sauce for later use.
- Best served warm with rice or warm tortillas and sprinkled with fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds.
- This recipe makes a lot of extra sauce. I recommend freezing the remaining sauce in small jars for later use. It tastes fantastic in enchiladas, burritos, rice casseroles, etc.
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