Mole is a name for a variety of Mexican sauces, characterized by their complex flavors–often including chilies and chocolate–and their smooth, rich texture. Mole Poblano is the most common type of mole sauce, but a number of other moles exist with different combinations of ingredients. Served with anything from chicken to enchiladas and vegetables, mole is a versatile element of Mexican cuisine.
Although people are not entirely sure of the origin of mole sauce, the most common story is that it was developed in Puebla de los Angeles, a town near Mexico City. Legend has it that in the 16th century, the nuns at the Convent of Santa Rosa were preparing for a visit from the archbishop, and they wanted to make something special. Regardless of its origin, mole is now a well-known element of Mexican cuisine.
The signature ingredient in mole is a small quantity of dark chocolate, giving the sauce its rich quality and slightly bittersweet taste. A number of other ingredients also contribute to mole, including fried bread, sugar, raisins, tomato, garlic, onions, cloves, cinnamon, and many different types of chilies and nuts. Not all mole sauces use the same ingredients. Families typically hand recipes down through generations.
Mole cooks over low heat for hours, often all day, to allow the complex flavors to mix together. To make mole, preparers must chop or grind all the ingredients, and toast or Sautee; some ingredients. After preparation of the ingredients, the sauce is blended and strained to give it a smooth texture.
The most common and famous use of mole is with poultry. Cooks prepare the best chicken mole and turkey mole by marinating it in a mole sauce prior to cooking, in addition to adding mole throughout the cooking process. Cooks also serve mole over beef, fish and other seafood, although that is less common. In addition, mole makes a good sauce for vegetables, dipping tortillas, and to cover enchiladas or burritos.
Many restaurants, both inside and outside of Mexico, are able to serve mole on a regular basis. However, preparation is such a labor-intensive process, Mexican families typically use it as a special occasion dish. It is often a staple at a girl’s Quinceanera (festival for her 15th birthday), at weddings, or on national holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos.
Mole Sauce the Hard Way: Authentic Mole Sauce
Found in “All Recipes” on line. Ready in One hour: Preparation time 30 minutes & Cooking Time 30 minutes
2 cups Chicken Broth
2 dried Guajillo Chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried Ancho Chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 dried Chipotle Chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 Dinner Roll, torn into pieces
2 Corn Tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
2 Tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
5 Tomatillos, cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon Lard
1 Onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 head Garlic, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup chopped Peanuts
1/4 cup Raisins
2 tablespoons Cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried Thyme
3 Cinnamon sticks
5 whole Cloves
6 whole Allspice berries
5 ounces’ dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup Chicken Broth
3 tablespoons white Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
Toast Guajillo Chiles, Ancho Chiles, and Chipotle Chiles in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until warm and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the blender with chicken broth.
Heat 2 cups chicken broth in a saucepan until it begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. Pour broth into a blender.
Toast dinner roll pieces and tortilla strips in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the blender with chicken broth and chiles
Allow the chiles and toasted bread and tortillas to soak, fully submerged, in the chicken broth until softened, about 10 minutes. Blend the mixture until smooth.
Cook tomatoes and tomatillos in a dry skillet on medium-high heat until soft and blackened, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place tomatoes in the blender with the Chile puree.
Melt lard in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, peanuts, raisins, cumin seeds, thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries; cook and stir until onions are soft and golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and other whole spices; add onion mixture to the blender with the Chile-tomato mixture and blend until smooth.
Pour Chile puree into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chocolate chicken broth, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer; stir until chocolate is melted and sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, 10 to 15 minutes.
Sauce is ready to pour on your Chicken, Beef, Fish or other seafood. It is delicious over Rice, Vegetables, Enchiladas or Burritos or for dipping Tortillas
Easy Chicken and Mole Recipe
Found in “Eating Well” on line. Preparation is only 35 Minutes.
Ingredients for 4 servings
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless Chicken thighs, trimmed
¼ teaspoon Salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
2 tablespoons Canola Oil, divided
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Chili powder
½ teaspoon ground Cumin
½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 8-ounce can Tomato Sauce
½ cup reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
¼ cup mini semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 tablespoon Almond Butter or natural Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon toasted Sesame Seed
Season chicken with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes’ total. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon Oil, Garlic, Chile powder, Cumin, Cinnamon and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon Salt to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add tomato sauce, broth, chocolate chips and almond (or peanut) butter; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low,
Return the chicken (and any accumulated juice) to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Note: Look for toasted sesame seeds at the supermarket near other Asian ingredients. Or toast regular sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Really Easy Mexican Mole:
My Family’s Method!
My family in Cozumel Mexico buys the Mole already made. They are natives of Mexico and make most things from scratch. If already prepared Mole is good enough for them, it is good enough for me.
The ready to use Mole comes in Glass jars or little boxes at the supermarket. They are also available in the United States in the Mexican Section or in Specialty Stores. They are absolutely delicious, more economical, and far easier than making it from scratch!
Just pour the sauce on your cooked Chicken or Beef and simmer long enough for the sauce to blend in. The sauce heated is delicious over Rice, Vegetables, Enchiladas or Burritos or for dipping Tortillas.