Chicken breast in mole rojo (chicken in red sauce) recipe

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A classic Mexican chicken in mole paste recipe. The chicken is first boiled, then cooked in a sauce made with mole paste. Mole paste is a famous Mexican type of sauce that is made with a variety of ingredients including chiles, Mexican chocolate, raisins, almonds and much more. You can buy  ready made mole paste in jars from supermarkets or you can make your own (a recipe is included). The chicken in mole paste dish can be served with refried beans, corn tortillas and Mexican fried rice, or with condiments of your liking.
Preparation time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: 60 minutes, Serves: 4 


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
5 Tbsp red mole paste (see recipe below)
1 cup chicken stock
2 ounces Mexican chocolate (substitute with 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder)

To serve with
Corn tortillas
Refried beans
Mexican rice


Place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Add a clove of garlic, an onion (quartered), salt and black pepper and simmer, covered, until they turn white, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mole paste and fry for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, to release the flavors. Be careful as the mole paste burns easily. Add the chicken stock and stir to mix with the mole paste. Add the chocolate or cocoa powder and stir continuously until well blended. Lower the heat and cook for 25 minutes, stirring constantly.

The mixture should have the consistency of a thick sauce. Taste and adjust with salt and black pepper to taste.

Place the chicken in the mole sauce and heat thoroughly, for 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve with refried beans, rice, and hot corn tortillas.

Notes and tips

Basic red mole paste recipe

10 dried ancho chiles
6 chipotle chiles
4 dried guajillo or mulato chiles
6 Tbsp black raisins
1/2 cup almonds
6 Tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 slice of french bread
1 corn tortilla
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 block (3.1 oz.) of Mexican chocolate (Ibarra is a good choice) (substitute with 3 Tbsp cocoa powder)

Wash the dried chiles under cold running water (hot water will increase the chile fumes). Break off the stems and shake out the seeds. Heat a comal or nonstick skillet and toast the chiles in batches until soft and brown. (Do not burn them or they will turn bitter). Place toasted chiles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak them for 30 minutes.

In another bowl add the raisins and cover with hot water. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes, or until plump and soft.

While the chiles and raisins are soaking, place the almonds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds in separate oven safe bowls and toast them in the oven at 350 F for about 10 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Watch carefully and remove seeds as soon as they are ready. Do not burn them. Note that you can toast the nuts in a frying pan, with vegetable oil or without.

While the seeds are toasting, place the bread and tortilla in the oven and toast them.

Break up the cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns using a mortar and pestle.

In a blender, add in three different batches the chiles, toasted almonds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Add enough plain water or chile soaking water to acheive a consistency close to a gravy. Add the raisins, crushed spices, tortilla, bread, oregano and chocolate, broken into small pieces and process until well blended. Add more water if needed.

The above ingredients make about 4 cups of mole paste.

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