Mole revisited! For many years my followers have asked me to share an easy mole recipe! I believes it’s always been an easy recipe. It does traditionally require a lot of prep work ahead before the actual mole comes together. Like homemade tamales, it’s a process of a couple of days. I set out one day last week to try and share and develop a recipe that is easier without compromising any of the flavors of a delicious mole sauce.
Every Family Has Their Own Special Mole Recipe!
I am confessing to you all right now, Mom didn’t prepare mole from scratch! She, like millions of Mexican families took a short cut and purchased mole paste in a jar. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious and saves a lot of time. Me being the curious cook and diehard foodie, I challenged myself years ago to learn how to prepare a basic mole recipe. Here is the scary part. You could come into my pantry at any given day and find everything to prepare mole from scratch! Lol! What can I say, I like to keep a well stocked pantry for my Mexican recipes. This mole recipe has basically all of the same ingredients as my recipe for Mole Poblano and Oaxacan style mole, except for the cooking methods.
To Fry Or To Toast??
You can choose to fry all of your ingredients in oil (or pork lard) or you can toast and dry roast all the ingredients. I have tried both and can’t really say that I notice a huge difference in flavor. So, when I was asked to share an easy mole recipe, I decided to try and keep it as real as possible. I used all real ingredients. Nothing out of a can, nothing processed. In the past, I have used canned fire roasted tomatoes, peanut butter, tortilla chips(instead of bollilo) and chicken bouillon powder. Not this time. Lightly frying all of my ingredients in layers was faster and the mole came together fairly quick.
Video! Video! Video!
Now The Cooking Of The Mole Sauce Should Not Be Rushed!
Once you get the the last stage of frying the blended mole sauce, don’t rush it. This is where you will decide if you want to add Mexican chocolate and season your mole. A good amount of time to let the mole sauce simmer low and slow is about three hours. Go in and stir as needed. Taste for salt as it cooks down. The beauty of this recipe is that it freezes beautifully and the flavors will just improve. It will thicken as it reduces. When I add my cooked chicken pieces, if preparing this way, just thin out the mole sauce with some warm chicken broth and let it cook for 20 minutes .
My Mole Doesn’t Look Like That Wonderful Black Mole!
The special chiles used to achieve a black mole are pretty much impossible to find in the states. They could even be pretty expensive when purchased in Mexico. Don’t let that stop you from attempting a mole recipe. If I wanted to achieve a darker mole, I could take the time to blacken the dried chiles and other ingredients more. But, then you may take a chance on having a bitter sauce from burning the chiles too much. So, I stay on the safe side and lightly fry my chiles until I see some blistering of the skins and they become aromatic.
What Other Ingredients Can Be Found In Mole?
Some of the other ingredients that you may see are ripe plantains, tamarindo, burnt corn tostadas, animal crackers(yup!), hoja santa, piloncillo(cane sugar cones) and some fruits. The main ingredients found in most mole recipes are dried chiles, nuts, seeds and spices. Whichever direction you decide to go when preparing mole, prepare it the way you like. Savory and spicy is how I enjoy my mole, but I have tasted the sweeter versions. Not really a fan of the sweeter varieties.
Many People Refer To Mole As A Chocolate Sauce
It’s far from being a chocolate sauce! It’s much more than that! There are so many complex flavors that make up a mole sauce. There is only 1 1/2 oz of Mexican chocolate added to that entire pot. If you enjoy ore chocolate and enjoy a sweeter mole, then add more. It’s that simple.
How Much Chicken For This Mole Sauce Recipe??
This mole sauce recipe can easily take about 12-14 chicken pieces. I used leg quarters and then just sliced them as they became tender. Used only 8 pieces of chicken, so reserved the extra mole sauce for other recipes.
- 5 oz chile ancho or chile mulato
- 1.5 oz. chile negro
- 6 chile morita
- 6-8 chile puya
- Avocado oil or pork Manteca as needed
- ½ bolillo roll cubed
- ½ white onion
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 serrano peppers
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 4 to matillos
- ¼ c pepitas
- ¼ cup blanched or sliced almonds
- ¼ c unsalted peanuts
- ¼ c sesame seeds plus more for garnish
- ¼ c raisins or dried plums
- 1 ½ tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- ½ tsp anise
- 1 ¼ inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 10 c water
- 1 ½ oz Mexican chocolate
- Salt to taste
- Remove the stems and seeds from the large chile pods and only the stems from the small chile pods, if any. Add all the dried chiles to a large, heavy pot. Drizzle in ¼ cup of oil or spoon in pork lard. Heat to medium heat. After a minute or two, the chiles should begin to sizzle and become aromatic. Currently, flip and gently press chiles to the bottom of the pot to toast and blister slightly. Flip a few more times. Reserve chiles in another pot. Remove any chile seeds remaining in the pot.
- Drizzle in another ¼ c of oil into the same pot. Drop in the cubed bread. Toss around for a few minutes until bread is toasted on most sides. Reserve the bread in the pot with chiles.
- To the pot, add the roughly chopped onions, serrano peppers, garlic, and tomatillos. Let them dry roast for a few minutes before adding quartered tomatoes and a drizzle of oil. Let the ingredients char slightly, turning now and then.
- Add the pepitas, almonds, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Pour in a little more oil. Sauté and toast nuts and seeds with other ingredients for a few minutes.
- Now add the spices, oregano, cumin, anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and raisins (or plums). Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Pour in 8 cups of water. Gently stir all the ingredients in the pot. To the pot, add in all of the reserved chiles and toasted bread. Stir well to combine. Continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from the herat and let all the ingredients sit for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, in two batches, transfer all the ingredients from the pot to the blender jar. Holding the lid down with a towel, blend on high until very smooth. If you are not using a power blender, you may have to blend for a few minutes. If it’s still not smooth and creamy looking, you may have to strain the mole sauce using a wire mesh strainer. Pour blended mole sauce into a large bowl as you blend. Pour in 2 cups of water to the blender jar and swish around to catch any remaining mole sauce left in jar. Pour into bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Wipe out the large pot. Add 1/3 cup of pork large or oil and preheat to medium for a few minutes. Once it’s hot, pour in the reserved mole sauce. Keep the lid close by because it will begin to splatter. Stir well to combine. At this time, you will season with salt, to taste. Add salt a little at a time, letting mole cook for a few minutes before adding more salt.
- Once you are happy with the seasoning, add the chopped Mexican chocolate. Stir as needed. Once chocolate has melted, taste for salt once again. Reduce heat slightly and continue simmering for the next 3 hours or until the mole reduces and becomes darker. Let mole sauce cool before storing in an airtight container.