While it still involves a complex preparation process, Mole Rojo comes together faster than Mole Poblano, making it an excellent compromise when the craving strikes. This traditional version uses Mulato Chiles as the smoky, rich pepper core of flavor.

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 240 min

Total time: 270 min

Mole Rojo with Chicken
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 10 to 12 servings


  1. Preheat broiler. Place tomatillos on foil-lined baking sheet, and roast 4 inches below heat source for 10 minutes, until olive green and slightly charred, turning once. Transfer to large bowl and add half of sesame seeds.

  2. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, use tongs to add chiles, 2 to 3 at a time, and cook for 20 to 30 seconds, flipping frequently, until interior sides are lighter in color. Transfer to large bowl, and repeat with remaining chiles. Cover chiles with boiling water, and soak for 20 minutes.

  3. Add garlic and almonds to hot oil, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, and add to tomatillo bowl. Repeat with raisins, frying until puffed up. Transfer to tomatillo bowl with slotted spoon. Remove pan from heat.

  4. Stir cinnamon, black pepper, anise, cloves, bread, chocolate and 2 cups water into tomatillo mixture.

  5. Taste chile soaking liquid; if not bitter, keep 6 cups, discarding remainder and/or making up any shortfall with fresh water. If bitter, discard and measure out 6 cups fresh water instead. Place half of chiles and half of soaking liquid into blender, and purée until smooth. Press through medium mesh strainer into bowl, using rubber spatula. Discard solids. Repeat process with remaining chiles and liquid.

  6. Return soup pot with oil to medium heat. When hot, pour in chile purée (be prepared for it to sizzle and sputter). Stir frequently until purée has darkened and thickened to tomato paste-like consistency, about 30 minutes.

  7. Blend tomatillo mixture in two batches, until smooth, adding water if necessary. Strain through strainer into chile-soaking bowl. Add to reduced chile purée in pan, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

  8. Add broth to pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for about 1 hour. Set aside, off the heat.

  9. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt, and add to pan in single layer, working in batches if necessary. Sear on all sides until golden-brown.

  10. Add chicken pieces to mole, and place over medium to medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, and cover. Cook for about 1 hour, until chicken is cooked through and very tender. Season to taste with salt and sugar.

  11. Serve chicken garnished with additional mole and sprinkled with remaining sesame seeds.