A wickedly delicious recipe for Chicken Mole-  slathered with Mole Negro Sauce – deep, luscious, nutty, spicy with a hint of sweetness from the addition of dark chocolate and whispers of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.  Vegan Adaptable! 

A wickedly delicious recipe for Chicken Mole Negro- deep, luscious, nutty, spicy with a hint of sweetness from the addition of dark chocolate and whispers of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.  Vegan Adaptable! 

Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.― Albert Schweitzer

Rich, earthy, and dark, this recipe for Chicken Mole with Mole Negro Sauce  or “black-mole” is a luxurious dish, but one that is surprisingly easy to make, perfect for gatherings and special dinners. The Mole Negro Sauce can be made ahead making this even simpler to put together!

Serve the Chicken Mole with Cilantro Lime Rice, pickled onions, crunchy radish and cilantro (or make the Mexican Slaw), and make sure to scroll down to see how to make a vegan version of this dish!

I’ve always thought of this dish, perfectly timed with the end of October.  Perhaps it’s the dark black sauce and Halloween- but whatever the connection, I hope you’ll find how fragrant spices and flavors here, warm the soul.

A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole Negro is made with Black Mole Sauce- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal. #mole #molenegro

What is Mole?

If unfamiliar, Mole (pronounced moh ley) is a rich Mexican sauce made from dried or fresh chilies, nuts or seeds, and tomatoes and can range in color from green to yellow to red and all the way to black (like this Mole Negro). It turns out there are hundreds of variations of mole!

But Mole Negro, or “black mole” is one of my all-time favorites and gets its deep dark color from smoked black chilies, prunes (or raisins), chocolate and warm spices.  It’s velvety and rich, without being cloying, and has a beautiful balance of flavors when you get it just right.

Though it is believed to originate from Oaxaca, while there, we learned it is actually a pre-Hispanic sauce, one that has been carried down from the indigenous people who lived before.

A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole Negro is made with Black Mole Sauce- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal. #mole #molenegro

How to make Chicken Mole

Step one

Start by making the Mole Negro Sauce.  This will take roughly 30-40 minutes and yes, you can make this ahead!

Start your rice if using and make the quick pickled red onions (these will elevate!)

Step two

Preheat the oven to 375F and prep the chicken. Season boneless, skinless chicken thighs with salt, and spices. I prefer using thighs here because they get so tender in the sauce.

Season the chicken with spices

Step three

In an ovenproof skillet, brown both sides of the chicken.

Brown the chicken

Step four

Add the warm  Mole Negro Sauce coating each piece well, pouring remaining into the pan, nestling the chicken over it,  and finish cooking the chicken in the oven. I like using all the sauce here- which does makes it pretty saucy- but we find, it always gets scooped up.

mole negro sauce

Feel free to use half or 2/3rds if you like. The leftover mole negro sauce can always be frozen.

add the mole negro sauce and bake

Step five

When the chicken is done baking in the sauce (15-20 minutes), it will be meltingly tender. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro.

A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole Negro is made with Black Mole Sauce- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal. #mole #molenegro

What to serve with Chicken Mole

Serve with Mexican Rice and Pickled onions. Radishes add a nice crunch- or make the Mexican Slaw.

The Chicken Mole Negro is quite rich so adding the pickled onions and something crunchy like radishes or Mexican Slaw is really a nice contrast here.

A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole Negro is made with Black Mole Sauce- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal. #mole #molenegro

Expert Tip

Mole Negro is a beautiful balance between depth, heat, bitter and sweet.  Find the perfect balance by adjusting these elements- see recipe notes.

Can this be made Vegan?

The Mole Negro sauce can be used on pan-seared tofu filets, enchiladas or tamales. I love seasoning slabs of tofu with the same seasonings as the chicken, and pan-searing until crispy, and topping with the mole sauce.

Ways to Adapt Chicken Mole

Experiment with different dried chilies– paying attention to the heat levels. Using a variety of chilies adds complexity.

Use different seeds or nuts: pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, pinenuts, etc.

Try different dried fruits– currants, dates, etc.

Consider a different protein: Leftover turkey, pork, Tofu, Slow-roasted lamb

More recipes you may enjoy:

A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole Negro is made with Black Mole Sauce- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal. #mole #molenegro

Hope you enjoy this wickedly delicious recipe! Have a fun Halloween weekend.

xoxo

Sylvia

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole Negro is made with Black Mole Sauce- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal.

Chicken Mole Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: main, chicken,
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A flavorful recipe for Chicken Mole is made with Black Mole Sauce (Mole Negro)- smoky, spicy and nutty with dried chilies, and a hint of chocolate. A flavorful Oaxacan-inspired meal.


Ingredients

Scale

Serve with Mexican ricepickled onions, radishes or Mexican Slaw, Mexican rice, cilantro (or shred and serve as tacos with Mexican slaw and pickled onions)


Instructions

  1. Make the pickled onions and refrigerate.
  2. Make the Mole Negro Sauce(feel free to make this ahead)
  3. Prep and cook the chicken: 
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Mix the salt and spices together in a small bowl. (Aim for 1 teaspoon salt per pound of chicken). Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with the salt-spice rub.
  • Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken until golden on both sides. Add the stock, then add the Mole Negro sauce, (saving a little of it up for touching up at the end). Give the pan a good shake and make sure the chicken is coated well and nestled in. It may seem like a lot of sauce, but the extra sauce will get mopped up, I promise!
  • Cover and place in the oven until the thighs are cooked all the way through,(165F) about 20 minutes.  Test a piece for tenderness, it should pull apart easily with two forks. You can either leave the thighs whole or lightly shred (best for tacos). If leaving whole, feel free to lather up with remaining Mole sauce.
  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed and cilantro.

Serve with Mexican ricepickled onions, radishes or Mexican Slaw, Mexican rice, cilantro (or shred and serve as tacos with Mexican slaw and pickled onions)


Notes

If you want to use less Mole Negro sauce, the leftover sauce will keep 4 days in the fridge or can be frozen. You can use the sauce in chili!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6 ounces chicken with mole sauce (does not include rice or sides)
  • Calories: 469
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 1572.3 mg
  • Fat: 20.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Fiber: 5.9 g
  • Protein: 38.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 160.1 mg

Keywords: Chicken mole, mole chicken, Mole negro, chicken Mole recipe, chicken mole negro recipe, mole negro recipe

Share this with the world

Categories

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

Subscribe
to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Comments

  1. Absolutely delicious, and not terribly difficult!
    Instead of the oven, I seared the chicken and put in the crock pot with the mole and a bit of broth, cooked on high for 3 hours. Going forward I’ll stick with the crock, as it makes it so much easier for entertaining. You could make the mole the day before and then put it all in the crock in the morning on low for 7-8 hours.
    I also doubled the chocolate. 🙂
    Was told it by a dinner guest it was the best mole they’d ever had.

  2. This was superb! I made the mole a little bit milder by adding a can of chopped tomatoes and extra peanut butter. It was enjoyed by a wide variety of palettes, and there is ample sauce leftover for future use. Delicious!

  3. I made this and it was the best mole I’ve had-EVER! I am never disappointed with your recipes. They are spot on, delicious and present beautifully.

  4. Me and my family thought this was the best dish of 2021! Not too sweet and not too spicy, but rich with great depth of flavor. It’s a keeper, and my family, typically not Mexican food fans, have already requested a repeat performance! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Carla- glad you give this a whirl and family enjoyed. One of our favorites too!

  5. This was REALLY delicious! I made the mole sauce 2 days in advance and the flavors came together beautifully. I’ve always loved the complexity of a good mole sauce but had never tried to make one before now. It whipped right up in the blender! I will definitely make it again.