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Pollo Rojo (Chicken Mole Recipe)

Chicken Mole Recipe  – A Latin inspired dish with big personality. Healthy, hearty and habit-forming… in a good way.

chicken-mole-recipe

I have a certain endearment to chile peppers.

Although I love spicy food, that is not the reason for my appreciation. My love for chiles has more to do with their color, intensity, versatility and universal appeal.

Every country, every culinary endeavor throughout history, has been affected by the chile pepper. Even European cuisine, although generally considered mild and rich, has been deeply influenced by this ancient self-pollinating crop. In certain regions, chiles have a long legacy as a dietary staple. Yet, once Columbus discovered the American varieties of chile peppers, their influence literally took over the world.

Making Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

More than just heat, chile peppers lend vibrance to otherwise boring dishes. They offer deep smokey flavor, sweetness and even the acidic note that certain dishes need.

As for versatility, chile peppers are used for all sorts of things around the world including: warding off pests in fields, as dyes, and to keep feet warm in socks. Loaded with Vitamin C and Capsaicin, (a powerful antioxidant) they are thought to cure:

  • Migraines
  • Sinus Issues
  • intestinal disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Cancer
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Toothaches
  • Joint Pain
  • Promote Weight Loss

I love to grow fresh peppers in the summer. But this time of year, I rely heavily on the dried varieties.

How to Make Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

I recently bought a large bag of red “New Mexico” Chiles at the grocery store. It was somewhat of a perplexing experience, because the bag labeled “New Mexico” chiles read “Grown in Mexico” in small print.

Directly next to them on the shelf were bags of identical-looking “California” chiles, “Grown in Peru.” You see the problem here? Sometimes when you buy chiles in bulk, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting.

What I discovered was that these red chiles are all Anaheims. The heat may vary a tad, due to the climate in which they are grown. Yet they are the same pepper, and are considered the standard chile pepper for Latin-American and Southwest cooking.

Easy Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

Reconstituting dried chiles unleashes a mass of flavor and untold possibilities. This easy Chicken Mole Recipe features a bold, deeply smokey, and mildly spicy, red pepper sauce, made out of reconstituted New Mexico chiles.

Healthy Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

I simply sauteed some thinly sliced chicken cutlets and blanketed them with warm vivid red pepper sauce. The red pepper sauce offers a rustic quality with a touch of sweetness that makes the chicken ridiculously exciting. It’s a brilliant sauce for the Chicken Mole Recipe, but is fantastic on beef and pork as well.

This Pollo Rojo Chicken Mole Recipe is a family favorite, full of healthy goodness and spice!

Pollo Rojo - Chicken Mole Recipe #healthy

Chicken Mole Recipe

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Red Pepper Mole:

  • 14-15 dried New Mexico chiles (Anaheims, California)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chicken stock (any stock would work)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Chicken Mole Recipe:

  • 2 pounds Chicken Cutlets (thinly sliced breast meat)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare a bowl of boiling hot water. Place the chiles in the water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes--until soft to the touch.
  2. Remove the stems, seeds, and membranes, rinsing each pepper in the bowl. Then place in a food processor.
  3. Add the garlic cloves and half the chicken stock. Puree until smooth. Then add the cumin, honey, vinegar, salt and remaining stock. Puree again until smooth. Taste and salt again if needed. The sauce should have a very intense flavor, but not be overly spicy if the seeds and membranes are properly removed.
  4. Heat a large to medium-high heat. Pat the chicken cutlets dry and salt the pepper on both sides.
  5. Add the oil and butter to the skillet. Once melted, place half the cutlets in the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  6. To serve: Warm the red pepper sauce and pour over the chicken. Garnish with cilantro leaves or queso fresco.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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54 Responses to “Pollo Rojo (Chicken Mole Recipe)”

  1. the wicked noodleposted January 12, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I want to eat that entire plate of food RIGHT NOW. I adore all things chile peppers and this dish looks absolutely amazing! Not to mention the gorgeous photos!

    Reply

  2. Kiri W.posted January 12, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Mmm, looks amazing! I love red peppers, and cumin sounds like a grand way to accentuate them! I imagine this must pack such a flavor punch :) Looks wodnerful, I really need to expand my Latin cooking horizon!

    Reply

  3. Cassie @ Bake Your Dayposted January 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I would kill for this. It looks amazing. The honey sounds like a great touch!

    Reply

  4. Bev Weidnerposted January 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

    You’ve inspired me. BOOKMARKED. I’m freaking out.

    Reply

  5. Lizposted January 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Beautiful, healthy AND yummy!!!

    Reply

  6. Gina @ Running to the Kitchenposted January 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Gorgeous. I want to make something with them for that color alone!

    Reply

  7. Italian Notesposted January 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I really have to try this, although my dried peppers are incredibly hot.

    Reply

    • Sommer — January 12th, 2012 @ 11:03 am

      These chiles are hot if you leave the seeds and membranes in. When removed, they are mild and smokey.

      Reply

  8. Belinda @zomppaposted January 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I agree with you. And all the benefits of chili make it even hotter to have!

    Reply

  9. Britneyposted January 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This looks like a beautiful recipe, and I love that you served black beans! I grew up eating chilies and love seeing them used this way!

    Reply

  10. Curtposted January 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Awesome recipe. That’s a lot of cumin. Just the way I like it!

    Reply

  11. My German Kitchen...in the Rockiesposted January 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

    We have a favorite Restaurant in Santa Fe, NM that has the best red chili sauce ever. That is a least what my husband says. He is the expert. We buy it in bulk and bring it home with us whenever we make it down there. Somehow I never thought of trying to make it myself. Don’t ask me why. It looks so easy. I will have to make yours and compare it. Thanks for the inspiration. Kirsten

    Reply

  12. Paula- bell'alimentoposted January 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Oh Sommer, Swoon! I adore pollo rojo! Wishing I had that for lunch right about NOW.

    Reply

  13. Jeanetteposted January 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I love all peppers – this eye popping Red Pepper Sauce is gorgeous!

    Reply

  14. domesticallyineptposted January 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Fabulous! The color is amazing!

    Reply

  15. Janet@FCTCposted January 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love that this REALLY uses the peppers and doesn’t just sprinkle some piddle amount of flakes or something in it. Buzzed!

    Reply

  16. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted January 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    What a beautiful recipe, Sommer! The chicken looks so moist and that sauce on top make ‘the pollo” even more delicious. Have a great day!

    HUGS <3

    Reply

  17. Kristaposted January 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    This is beautiful and so simple! My hubby would absolutely love this dish. And I don’t doubt I would probably have seconds!

    Reply

  18. Bonnie Kposted January 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Heaven! I love chiles. I will definitely want to prepare this dish.

    Reply

  19. Deannaposted January 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Yum! We grow chiles year round, and we normally have 8-10 different varieties of dried. I love the sound of this dish!

    Reply

  20. LivedinItalyposted January 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    One tried and true source for New Mexico chiles is http://www.hatchchilefest.com/index.php.

    Reply

  21. torviewtorontoposted January 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    delicious looking colourful presentation

    Reply

  22. Baking Serendipityposted January 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I am sometimes a wuss when it comes to spicy foods, but my husband loves them. He would go crazy for this chicken…and I love the bright red color in it! Definitely bookmarking for a surprise dinner :)

    Reply

  23. Caraposted January 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Such simple ingredients yet tons of flavor… love it!

    Reply

  24. Pattyposted January 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    We would love this for dinner!

    Reply

  25. betiposted January 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I love your food, all the spices mixed together. The food simply looks amazing un every single post and this chicken is no exception

    Reply

  26. marlaposted January 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    The color of this sauce is amazing I bet the flavor is even better! Nice to know the heat is manageable. Wish you could cook me dinner!

    Reply

  27. Amyposted January 13, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Oh Sommer! This is making me drool, even early in the morning. I bought some dried chiles that have been hanging out in my pantry. Looks like I should get them out and get to cooking. YUM!

    Reply

  28. Memoriaposted January 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This dish reminds me of Pollo adobado. YUM! The sauce looks amazing.

    Reply

  29. Wenderlyposted January 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I could inhale this every. single. day. *love*

    Reply

  30. Mariaposted January 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Love that sauce!

    Reply

  31. Jersey Girl Cooksposted January 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Great sauce. Bookmarked!

    Reply

  32. Suzanneposted January 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Wow, simple and beautiful my kind of cooking, thanks for the inspiration :).

    Reply

  33. leslieposted January 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Ohhh sweet..so I can live n peppers and not have migraines?? That would be wonderful! What a beautiful and tasty dish!

    Reply

  34. Katieposted January 14, 2012 at 2:54 am

    I can’t get peppers like that here, but I can get jars of roasted pimientos, which will be perfect for this – the hubs can add Tabasco (which is the only hot sauce we can get LOL)

    Reply

  35. sweetsugarbelleposted January 14, 2012 at 4:01 am

    I use red chiles all the time for enchiladas! This is wonderful!!!

    Reply

  36. Dmarieposted January 14, 2012 at 5:44 am

    oh, that looks delish!

    Reply

  37. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted January 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I saw this photo and then read your description. I was grasping for the words but you said it right. This looks like it has tons of personality. Yum! The colors are terrific. Dinner at your house must be so fun!

    Reply

  38. Kim Beeposted January 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    This is gorgeous, I cannot get over how vibrant this dish is. Your photos are stunning.

    Reply

  39. Jen at The Three Little Pigletsposted January 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    It is pretty amazing what you can do with chilies! I love that they’re so unbelievably packed with flavor and yet so inexpensive. One of the best bargains in the market if you ask me…

    Reply

  40. Carrieposted January 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Wow, this is a beautiful dish! I just love the red color of the sauce. Looks fantastic.

    Reply

  41. Katrinaposted January 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Yum! I’ve never bought those bags of dried chilis but I’m going to have to try this–looks delicious!

    Reply

  42. vianneyposted January 16, 2012 at 12:42 am

    You can never go wrong with chiles.. great round up of latin inspired dishes…

    Reply

  43. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yumposted January 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Yumm! Looks awesome!!!

    Reply

  44. Ken Scrivnerposted January 16, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I’m heading out the door right now to buy a batch of those wonderful pepper.

    Reply

  45. Monetposted January 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    As has already been said, the color of that sauce is amazing! And I’m sure it tastes even better! This looks so tasty…I just wish we lived closer. Thank you for making me smile after a long day at work…sorry I haven’t stopped by sooner. I’ve been adjusting to my crazy-busy schedule. Hugs and love!

    Reply

  46. Aileenposted January 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I could almost smell the spicy goodness of this dish :-)

    Reply

  47. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidenceposted January 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    YUM!! I make a similar sauce for chilequiles :)

    Reply

  48. RisaGposted February 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I am a card-carrying Chile-Head and adore them all – from the mildest to the hottest – and this looks wonderful to me.

    Reply

  49. Jennyposted February 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I just made the sauce and it’s watery. Is there a thickening agent you used? I used 1 cup stock and the other ingredients and it’s not thick like the picture.

    Reply

  50. Pingback: Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes | TidyMom

  51. Nikposted April 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Recipe looks fabulous. Found it on Pinterest. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  52. Melissaposted August 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I followed to recipe to the t, but it looks nothing like the photo. The sauce turned out watery for me. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Sommer — August 24th, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

      Hey Melissa, I’m not sure why that would have happened. But what I would do to thicken the sauce is to place a sieve over a bowl and line in with a paper towel. Pour the sauce into the sieve and drain until the desired consistency is reached.

      Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

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