Mole chicken tacos with radish, guacamole, and pickled red onions.
The Dude loves making Mexican inspired food (his tortillas are delicious) and he seems to really love making mole. I won’t lie, the first time he made it, a large mess was involved. The mole itself was very tasty, but it took forever and seemed to splatter the entire kitchen. I still tease him about it. He’s gotten the process down pat, though, and it now only requires minimal cleanup.
Like all moles, the recipe does contain quite a few ingredients and steps. It’s really much easier than it looks, though, and is absolutely worth it. It’s a great go-to sauce and we love having it in the fridge or freezer. This mole is also a bit on the spicy side, but it’s really worth it and can easily be tempered with crema, sour cream, or cheese. Plus, it’s mole – it’s supposed to have a kick! It works on pork, chicken, and fish (and probably on beef, but we didn’t try that).
- 2 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 dried pasilla chilies
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 2 tomatillos, quartered
- ½ can (15 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- Large handful toasted almonds
- Large handful toasted pumpkin seeds
- Large handful raisins
- About 1 ½ cup of chicken stock, divided.
- ½ cup black bean stock (substitute chicken stock if necessary)
- 5-6 dark chocolate pieces (we used dark chocolate covered almonds)
- 1tbs smooth peanut butter
- Grapeseed, canola, or other non-flavored oil (olive oil is too strong)
- Agave to taste
- Place a heavy pan (we used cast iron) over medium heat. While the pan is heating, remove the seeds from the chili peppers.
- Place the chilies in the pan and toast until fragrant. This only takes a few minutes, so watch them; they go from toasty and yummy to burnt very quickly.
- Remove toasted peppers and place in a heat-proof bowl. Cover with about ½ cup of hot chicken broth. Steep until peppers soften.
- Add 1-2 tbsp oil to the pan and toast almond and pumpkin seeds until fragrant and slightly darkened (about 2 minutes). Make sure to stir frequently and watch the pan! Set aside.
- Add the onion and tomatillo pieces. Sear 1-2 minutes on each side until charred. Set aside.
- Add raisins to the pan and cook for about 1 minute until they plump up and change color.
Blend it up!
- Add all of the following to a blender: softened peppers (with liquid!), charred tomatillos and onions, toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, and raisins, fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, and allspice. At this point, also add ½ cup black bean stock (cooking liquid – water and some baking soda – from black beans). If you don’t have this, just sub in some more chicken stock.
- Blend until smooth, adding more chicken stock if necessary. It will take a little while if you have a cheapo blender like ours!
- Taste the mixture; it will likely need some salt and some sweetness. If you are using dark chocolate almonds (like we did!), add them and a pinch of salt now (we’ll add more salt to taste later) and blend again until smooth. If you’re using plan chocolate, just add some salt and wait until later to add the chocolate.
Time to strain.
- Now for the messy part – straining! Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and add the mixture. Push the mixture through the strainer with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. This will take some time, but make sure you push everything you can through the strainer – it’s totally worth it! Discard anything left in the strainer.
- Add about 1 ½ tbs of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over and heat on medium low. Add the strained mixture. Yes, it will splatter (told you this can be messy!). Cook down until the mixture resembles tomato paste, stirring frequently. Be patient with this part, it can take quite a while and you (and your kitchen) will get splattered.
- Once cooked down, add enough chicken stock to get the sauce to the consistency of a thick puree or thin applesauce. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes and salt to taste.
Reduced sauce. Notice we used a way-too-large pot to minimize splatter.
- Add 1tbsp of peanut butter. Also, if you are using chocolate pieces instead of chocolate almonds, add them now. Stir until incorporated.
- Taste again and add agave if you want it sweeter.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Once your sauce is cooked, use immediately or cool and place in containers. It will keep for about 1 week in the fridge 3 months in the freezer.