A Spicy Perspective

Pollo Con Mole Poblano

Authentic Chicken Mole Recipe (Pollo con Mole Receta) – Seared chicken breasts smothered in a smoky, savory chocolate mole poblano sauce is a delicious main dish that is sure to please!

Top down chicken mole on a plate with Spanish rice.

Why We Love this Chicken Mole Recipe

We love a certain little Mexican restaurant in town, primarily because of their Pollo con Mole – AKA chicken smothered in a chocolate Mole sauce. The taste is so deliciously smoky, rich, and slightly sweet, it seriously makes you want to lick the plate…

Mole, however, is a labor of love. Although the steps are not complicated, it does take numerous ingredients to create its unique flavor, plus a significant amount of time. But it’s fantastic (and encouraged) to make ahead, and we’ve created a recipe that makes a HUGE amount of mole you can freeze and reheat to use in up to 6 meals!

Side view chicken breast with mole on a plate with rice.

What is Mole?

The word mole is Spanish for “sauce,” and in Mexican cuisine, it refers to a savory chile and chocolate sauce often paired with chicken.

Mole poblano is made with three types of peppers: Mulato, Ancho, and Pasilla chiles.

Mulato and ancho chiles are both types of poblano peppers, and neither is particularly spicy. Ancho chiles are smoky and tend to be almost sweet, and are considered mild. The Mulato peppers, however, are more ripened and therefore have a deeply sweet flavor with a bit more heat.

Pasilla chiles (chiles negro) have the most heat, but are still not really spicy – the peppers are considered mild compared to other popular spicy peppers like jalapenos. They add lovely sweet and smoky fruit flavors, similar to prunes or super ripe raisins.

The combination of all three creates a DEEP intoxicating flavor. If you can’t find them all, blend 2 types. If you can only use one, I would go with Mulato peppers.

Chicken mole on a plate with bite taken away.

Ingredients Needed

Note: This Mole sauce recipe makes enough sauce for 6 meals. However, the chicken is for one meal.

For the Mole Sauce:

  • Mulato chiles
  • Ancho chiles
  • Pasilla chiles
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Pepitas
  • Sesame seeds
  • Canela cinnamon stick 
  • Juniper berries
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Whole cloves (or allspice)
  • Fennel seeds
  • Black peppercorns
  • Butter, or lard
  • Raisins
  • Garlic, whole cloves
  • Onion
  • White bread
  • Corn tortillas
  • Can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Vegetable broth (or chicken)
  • Mexican chocolate tablet

For the Pollo Con Mole:

  • Butter
  • Chicken cutlets (or chicken breasts, butterflied)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oaxaca cheese
Top view three types of peppers.

How to Make Mole Sauce

Note: It’s very important the mole has time to rest so the flavors can intensify. Make ahead if possible.

Set a large 6 to 8-quart saucepot over medium heat. Pop the stems off all the chili peppers and shake out as many seeds as possible.

Then toast the chili peppers in the dry sauce pot for 2 to 3 minutes.

Dry searing chiles in a pot.

Remove the chili peppers with tongs and set them aside.

Add all the nuts to the saucepot. Stir and toast for 3 to 5 minutes until the nuts smell toasty.

Toasting nuts and seeds in a pot.

Remove the nuts and set them aside. Now toast the seeds and all whole spices in the pan for 2-3 minutes. Stir regularly to make sure they do not burn on the bottom.

Toasting spices in a pot.

Remove and set aside.

Place 2 tablespoons of butter (or lard) in the saucepot. Once melted, add in the raisins, garlic, and onions. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Then tear the bread and tortillas into small pieces and stir them into the mixture. Sauté another 2 to 3 minutes to toast the bread and tortillas.

Toasting bread chunks, spices, and fruits in a pot.

Now add all the toasted chili peppers, nuts, seeds, and spices back into the pot. Add the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well.

All mole ingredients in a pot.

Then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Lower the heat if needed to keep at a low simmer and stir every 10 to 15 minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.

Water added to the pot with spices and peppers.

Once all the chilies are soft and the nuts are plump, turn off the heat.

Get the Complete (Printable) Chicken Mole Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Simmered mole sauce base in a large pot.

Add the chocolate tablet and stir until melted.

Adding a bar of chocolate to the pot.

Carefully ladle the sauce into a blender. Open the vent on the blender lid, but cover it with a towel for safety. Purée the sauce until extremely smooth.

Note: You can use an immersion blender to keep the sauce in the saucepot, but you’ll need to blend it much longer to make sure the Mole poblano sauce is very smooth. 

Once the sauce is smooth, taste, then salt and pepper as needed. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar if desired.

If the mole has become too thick to pour, add 1/2 -1 cup of water.

Pureed mole sauce in a blender.

Pour the mole back into the saucepot. Cover and allow it to rest. The longer it sits the better it will taste.

In fact, I often like to make Molé a day before using it. Cover and refrigerate if you plan to let it sit for more than two hours.

Smooth mole poblano sauce in a pot.

Steps to Make Pollo con Mole Poblano

Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Once the butter has melted, sauté the chicken breasts for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Chicken breasts searing in a skillet.

Reheat 1 1/2 cups of Molé in a saucepan on the stovetop.

When they are cooked throughout, plate the chicken breasts. Then pour hot Molé over the top and sprinkle with shredded Oaxaca cheese and cilantro, if you like.

Top down view chicken mole on a plate with rice.

What to Serve with Mole

Mole sauce is amazing to pair with chicken breasts, and many other dishes. Try pouring it over steak, shredded Mexican beef, shredded pork (carnitas), or tofu steaks.

It’s also fantastic to use on tacos and enchiladas!

Serve chicken mole with Spanish rice and refried beans, crispy Patatas Bravas, or any of your favorite Mexican-inspired sides.

Two plates of chicken breasts with chocolate chile sauce and Spanish rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does mole sauce taste like?

Mole has a distinctly deep, smoky, and slightly sweet flavor. The combination of dried chiles and chocolate is incredibly rich and vibrant, without being spicy.

How long do leftovers last?

The mole poblano sauce will keep well for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.

How do you freeze mole poblano sauce?

Let the sauce cool completely, and transfer to a freezer-safe container with a lid. Wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Top down view mole chicken breast with bite removed.

Looking for More Mexican-Inspired Recipes?

Pollo Con Mole Poblano (Chicken Mole Recipe)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Seared chicken breasts smothered in a smoky, savory chocolate mole poblano sauce is a delicious main dish that's sure to please! This recipe is great to make ahead in a large batch and freeze.
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

For The Mole Sauce –

For the Pollo Con Mole –

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds chicken cutlets or chicken breasts, butterflied
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup shredded Oaxaca cheese

Instructions

  • Set a large 6 to 8 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Pop the stems off all the chili peppers and shake out this as many seeds as possible.
  • Then toast the chili peppers in the dry sauce pot for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chili peppers with tongs and set aside.
  • Add all the nuts to the sauce pot. Stir and toast for 3 to 5 minutes until the nuts smell toasty.
  • Remove the nuts and set aside. Now toast the seeds and all whole spices in the pan for 2-3 minutes. Stir regularly to make sure they do not burn on the bottom. Remove and set aside.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of butter (or lard) in the sauce pot. Once melted, add in the raisins, garlic, and onions. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Then tear the bread and tortillas into small pieces and stir into the mixture. Sauté another 2 to 3 minutes to toast the bread and tortillas.
  • Now add all the toasted chili peppers, nuts, seeds, and spices back into the pot. Add the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well. Then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Lower the heat if needed to keep at a low simmer and stir every 10 to 15 minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • Once all the chilies are soft and the nuts are plump. Turn off the heat. Add the chocolate tablet and stir until melted.
  • Carefully ladle the sauce into a blender. Open the vent on the blender lid, but cover it with a towel for safety. Purée the sauce until extremely smooth. *You can use an immersion blender to keep the sauce in the sauce pot, but you’ll need to blend it much longer to make sure the Mole is very smooth.
  • Once the sauce is smooth, taste, then salt and pepper as needed. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar if desired. If the mole has become too thick to pour, add 1/2 -1 cup of water. Pour the mole back into the sauce pot. Cover and allow it to rest. The longer it sits the better it will taste. *I often like to make Molé a day before using it. Cover and refrigerate.
  • For the Pollo con Molé: Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Once the butter has melted, sauté the chicken breasts for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • Reheat 1 1/2 cups of Molé. Plate the chicken breasts. Pour hot Molé over the top and sprinkle with shredded Oaxaca cheese. You can garnish with cilantro if you like.

Video

Notes

It’s very important the mole has time to rest so the flavors can intensify. Make-ahead if possible.
The mole poblano sauce will keep well for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.
Let the sauce cool completely, and transfer to a freezer-safe container with a lid. Wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 408kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 504mg, Potassium: 1190mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 8081IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Sommer Collier

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3 comments on “Pollo Con Mole Poblano”

  1. best phone under 250 dollars

  2. Looks delicious but so many ingredients and a lot of work, I’m not a big fan of Mole but my husband is, but think I’ll just let him order it at our favorite Mexican restaurant.