Chicken Mole

Chicken Mole- Chicken smothered in New Mexico red mole sauce. #mole #chicken |

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Back in June you were introduced to my New Mexico Red Mole, a spicy, rich sauce made with three types of chiles, pecans, pistachios, several different spices, chocolate, and a few other interesting ingredients.  The mole recipe makes over 12 cups; therefore, much of it can be frozen in 2-cup containers for future dishes like this succulent chicken mole – pieces of chicken smothered and simmered in mole sauce.

If you already have the sauce made, this chicken mole is quite easy to make.  Just brown the chicken, saute’ some bell pepper and onion, add some mole sauce, and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve over rice for a make my mouth happy meal.  You might also want a little bread or tortillas handy so you can clean your bowl of any leftover sauce. You’re not going to want to waste a drop!

If you don’t have the sauce already made, then I would suggest making the mole on the weekend or whenever you have 2 – 3 hours that you can dedicate to the process.  Mole, like soups and stews is better the next day, so making it in advance is preferred.  You may also be able to find mole at the market, if you must.

Chicken Mole

Chicken Mole- Chicken smothered in New Mexico red mole sauce. #mole #chicken @mjskitchen

Chicken Mole' - Chicken smothered in a New Mexico red mole' sauce #mole #chicken #recipe |
Print or Save Recipe
Chicken Mole Recipe
20 mins
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Chicken Mole smothers chicken in a New Mexico Red Mole that you need to make at least one day ahead of making this dish.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, New Mexico, Southwestern
Yields: 8 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 8 chicken thighs*, skin and visible fat removed*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. oive oil
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup beer (e.g., Negra Modelo, Bohemia, Abita)
  • 2 cups New Mexico Red Mole*
  • water
  • 3 cups cooked rice*
  1. Remove the skin and any visible fat from the chicken thighs, rinse and dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or braising pan over medium heat. When hot, add half of the chicken pieces and lightly brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl.

  3. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  4. Add the bell pepper and onion to the pan and saute' for about 4 - 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn down the heat and add the beer. Deglaze the pan to release the goodies stuck to the bottom.

  5. Add the mole sauce and stir. If it's too thick, add a little water and any liquid that has gathered in the bowl with the chicken. Whisk to combine the liquids. (NOTE: The sauce will thin some more while cooking.)
  6. Add the chicken pieces and turn each piece to coat with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, turn each piece of chicken over, cover and cook another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
  8. To serve, place some rice in a bowl and top with one to two pieces of chicken and a generous amount of sauce.
Kitchen Notes

Chicken – With this recipe you can use any pieces of chicken you want.  A whole chicken cut into 8 – 10 pieces works fine.  I prefer using all thighs because…first of all, I love chicken thighs, and secondly, all the pieces take the same amount of time to cook.  If you use chicken breasts, either cut them in half or add 5 minutes to the simmer time.


Red chile mole – As I mentioned before, it’s best to make a batch of mole on another day, set aside 2 cups for this dish, then divide the remaining mole into 2 cup servings and freeze.  If you want to spend about 4 hours in the kitchen you can make both the mole and this chicken mole on the same day. You should also be able to buy mole at your local Mexican market.  Look for mole negro, black mole or mole poblano.


Leftover Ideas – If you have leftovers, then remove the chicken from the bones and make chicken and mole tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas.  You could also serve it as a side to scrabbled eggs or huevos rancheros.


Rice - Pretty any rice works with this dish - white, brown or a wild rice blend.  Start the rice prior to starting on the chicken.  If it finishes before the chicken is done, it can rest.





Chicken Mole- Chicken smothered in New Mexico red mole sauce. #mole #chicken |


I hope you enjoyed this Chicken Mole recipe. If you did, then you might also enjoy these recipes:

Bean and Red Mole Pizza

Black Bean Mole


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39 Responses to “Chicken Mole”

  1. Kelly October 24, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    Yea! When my husband and I lived in CO, we went to Santa Fe quite often, mostly to eat, because we have never tasted food that was similar in any other restaurant. We now live in MT and miss going to NM. We do order lots of chile powder from a place in Santa Fe, and now I can’t wait to try your recipes.

    I’m celiac and can’t drink beer and the gluten-free beer tastes bad to me. What can I substitute instead? Thanks!

    • mj October 25, 2016 at 8:33 am #

      Kelly, so good hearing from you! Thank you for your question. You could substitute the beer with a stock or broth of your choice. I would probably use chicken. Hope you enjoy! We love this dish! 😋 I can certainly understand your missing NM cuisine. Cheers!

  2. Abbe @ This is How I Cook February 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    I adore mole in all of its varieties! Can’t wait to try this!

  3. Carol at Wild Goose Mama January 27, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    Goll do I love mole’ sauce. It could be my favorite Tex Mex sauce. There are so many variations of course. I had a boss who was Mexican. His wife sauce was
    superb, but my lips burned for hours. But it was sooooo worth it. Great a tried and true mole’ recipe. YES!!!

  4. Asmita January 19, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    Looks divine!!

    • mj January 21, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

      Thanks Asmita!

  5. Tamara January 14, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    Thanks for the reminder MJ! I’ve been wanting to spend the 2-3 hours to make the mole during the “cooler” months in McAllen. This looks like a great way to use some of the sauce!

    • mj January 16, 2016 at 10:07 am #

      Thanks so much Tamara! Hope you do get a chance to make it. It’s a fun process and the results are heavenly. 🙂

  6. Raymund January 12, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Sounds like a very comforting dish, it will also be my happy meal

    • mj January 12, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

      Thanks Raymund! It makes a great happy meal. 🙂

  7. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles January 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    Your mole looks absolutely gorgeous MJ – it’s literally glistening! (love the highlighties 😀 ). I’ve not yet made it but this is a mouthwatering reminder. It’s the kind of recipe I would enjoy tinkering with at home because the one’s we’ve sampled in Mexican restaurants have been too sweet for our taste. Have you been getting much rain over December/January? I feel like we are having our first ‘real’ winter here in NorCal.

    • mj January 12, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you so much Kelly! I agree that some moles are too sweet. I saw one recipe that called for 1/2 cup sugar! The raisins alone add a lot of sweetness so I try to go light on the sugar. The sugar is added near the end and really is to counter some of the bitterness from the chile as well as the heat. So it’s best to start with a small amount and add more is needed. Yes, we’ve had a VERY wet Dec/Jan! It’s been a mix of rain and snow, but, like CA, we’ll take it. 🙂 The mountain here and throughout NM have been getting a ton of snow so that’s really going to help the drought. The Rio Grande is going to be WILD this spring with all of the runoff. Glad it’s finally getting cold for my Canadian friend. 🙂

  8. Hotly Spiced January 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    This looks like a chicken dish that’s packed with flavour. The ingredients in the sauce sound amazing, especially the addition of chocolate! I love chicken thighs too – they have a lot of flavour. I’ve not cooked a mole so I must try this xx

  9. Judy @Savoring Today January 8, 2016 at 7:26 am #

    I have never made mole, but I’m thinking it has to go on the list for 2016! Oh YUM!

    • mj January 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

      It’s a good item to put on your 2016 list! 🙂 Thanks and Happy 2016 Judy!

  10. Happy New Year! And it looks so tempting.

    • mj January 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks Marta and a happy 2016 to you too!

  11. Sissi January 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    Happy New Year, dear MJ! What a delicious-looking warming dish! What can be better than chicken, chocolate and chile??? I have been planning to make mole for years because the chocolate’s presence in a savoury dish has always mesmerised me. Now you have reminded me I have the best source possible : your recipe!

    • mj January 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

      And a Happy 2016 to you Sissi!! You should put mole on your list of things to make in 2016. You’ll find it well worth it. And as much as you love chile, your mouth will be a happy mouth. 🙂

  12. Amy (Savory Moments) January 7, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Mole is a favorite of mine and this dish looks perfect!

    • mj January 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

      Thanks Amy!

  13. Roz @ La Bella Vita Cucina January 6, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Mole is so amazing! I had it for my very first time in Oaxaca, Mexico way back in the 90s and have never forgotten it. It’s so nice to know that someone else is familiar with it and how full of flavor it is! We’re so freezing right now in SC, that this would certainly be warming and comforting! I wish you a most wonderful new year in 2016, MJ and look forward to all of your wonderful recipes in the coming year!

    • mj January 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

      Oaxacan mole is the BEST! In fact, I love a lot of the foods that come from Oaxaca. So lucky that you’ve were able to visit there. Oh yes,this is a great cold weather dish! It’s freezing here in NM but we’re use to it. I bet you are quite cold there in SC! Crazy weather.

  14. wok with ray January 6, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    Yes, chicken mole! What a delicious way to start the new year. Simple ingredients but very flavorful. Just my kind of dish and perfect for a weeknight meal at our house. From my family to yours, MJ — Happy New Year my friend. 🙂

    • mj January 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

      thanks so much Ray! And a Happy 2016 to you as well!

  15. John/Kitchen Riffs January 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    Happy New Year! And what a great dish to start the year off right! So much flavor — this looks amazing. Thanks!

    • mj January 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks so much John and Happy New Year to you too!

  16. Chgojohn January 5, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    This recipe and your mole sound delicious, MJ. Just prior to moving to Chicago, I shared an office with a manager of Mexican descent. He made the best mole I’d ever tasted or enjoyed since. I need to give yours a try, MJ, and with this chicken. Would be great to dine on a good mole again. Thanks!

    • mj January 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks so much John! The first mole’ I ever had was made by an old Mexican woman. It was awesome and inspired me to learn how to make it for myself. The last batch I made was the best ever I’ve made. I have to thank Chef Olea in Santa Fe for that. 🙂

  17. Anna @ shenANNAgans January 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Mole’ sauce sounds magical, I have never heard of it before. I need to get out more! Looks delicious and perfect for the unseasonably cold weather we are having at the mo. Happy New Year MJ, looking forward to following your tasty adventures this year. 🙂

    • mj January 5, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

      Thank you Anna! It’s a pretty regional sauce, so it’s not surprising that you have heard of it. Glad to introduce you to something new. 🙂

  18. Amy January 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    Wonderful dish, I’ll have to try this brand.

    • mj January 5, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

      Thanks Amy! I’ve been checking out the recipes on your website. You have some great things cooking over there.

  19. Evelyne CulturEatz January 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    Fabulous first recipe of the year. A real mole is just divine, on chicken it is perfect. i want this for dinner. Happy New year….and now that you are back you will finally see my new name lol.

    • mj January 5, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! I was going to post something else, but when I made this last week, it was a no brainer. 🙂 Love the new name!

  20. Angie@Angie's Recipes January 5, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Can you believe that I have never had a chicken mole? It surely looks very flavourful and moreish, MJ.

    • mj January 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

      Actually, I’m not surprised. It’s a highly regional dish. In Mexico is “pozole'” and has a little different spin than here in the southwest. Both outside of the latin countries and the southwest, I don’t believe it’s very common. It is a VERY flavorful dish! Thanks!


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    […] it’s all gone.  This molé makes a great smothering sauce for enchiladas, burritos, tacos, chicken, and pork, as well as a variety of beans and vegetables.  You can substitute it for just about any […]

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