How to make authentic chicken mole

There are few tastes more distinctive than a well-made mole sauce.   This Mexican classic is served in many restaurants, but rarely lives up to its reputation as one of the most noteworthy dishes of Mexican cuisine.  Many think it is too spicy hot – it’s not; others are turned off by the somewhat sweetish taste of the dark chocolate, and still others have never experienced authentic Mexican cooking and continue to dine at Taco Bell.

Gloria seeding the chilies

I will often give chicken mole a try in a serious Mexican restaurant, but am generally disappointed.  There are hundreds of variations and  mole sauce is often found on chicken, pork, beef and occasionally a few vegetarian dishes.  I suppose that there are as many variations of mole as there are Mexican cooks.  The recipe below for chicken mole is from Gloria, a self-taught cook from Mexico, who in my mind – and palette – captures the essence of a fine mole.

Note:  This recipe is for chicken mole and we strongly recommend making homemade chicken stock and then use the skinless chicken in the mole sauce.   Make beef or pork broth the same way.  While the fowl and meats lose a lot of flavor when eaten this way, the real star of the show is the mole sauce which should be served with rice.

Gloria’s Authentic Chicken Mole

Ingredients (served 6 to 8)

  • 1 quart chicken stock (homemade is best – use chicken drumsticks or assorted chicken pieces if making chicken mole)
  • At least four varieties of dried chiles (the more the better, but avoid chiles that are too hot).  In this recipe, we used the following 4 varieties of chiles which can be found in most Mexican or ethnic grocery stores:
    • Chile Pasilla – Ancho Entero
    • Chile Mulato Entero – Mulato chili
    • Chile Guajillo Entero – Guajillo chili
    • Chile Negro Entero – Negro chili
  • Oil
  • Six whole cloves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 bar chocolate ibarra
  • 8 oz tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp dry oregano or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano


  • Create chicken stock using 6 to 12 drumsticks, thighs or other chicken parts.  The more concentrated the chicken stock the more taste will be imparted to the mole.  Save the chicken parts to add to the mole.
  • As the chicken stock is cooking down, take stems and seeds out of dry chilies and set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil.  When oil begins to ripple add the chilies turning once or twice to cover in oil and quickly heat (between 15 seconds to 45 seconds depending on oil temperature).
  • Remove the oiled chilies and place in a sauce pan together with about 1/2 a quart or  more of the chicken stock.  Cook for a few minutes to allow the chilies to absorb the chicken stock.
  • Transfer mixture to a blender and add the cloves, the garlics, a Tbsp of cumin and ground pepper to taste.   Blend until you have a very fine solution (about 1-2 minutes)

Mixture of chilies and chicken stock through sieve

  • In a deep skillet add a couple Tbsp of oil.  When hot add 1/4 cup of flour (finely ground bread is OK) and stir into oil until it becomes totally emulsified and begins to boil.
  • Carefully strain the chile mixture through a sieve and add to the oil  and flour mixture.  The mole sauce should be like gravy (not too thick).  Pulp captured in the sieve can be returned to the blender for further processing if needed.
  • Add chicken broth if needed to get the desired consistency.
  • Once the mixture is boiling, stir in the bar of dark chocolate (chocolate ibarra)
  • Add a 8 oz can of tomato paste
  • Cook 20 to 30 minutes
  • Add the chicken (in this case the drumsticks) and cook for a few more minutes

Ashley "Chick on the Run" Rodwick sampling mole

In the photograph above, find Ashley “Chick on the Run” serving herself mole.

Serve with rice and a nice tortilla.  Olé!


  1. Looks great, will have to try it! I found this recipe searching for Chile Negro Entero in enchilada sauce. The mole sauce looks quite similar to enchilada sauce, with clove & chocolate.

    I note the pepper measures aren’t specified. I reckon (guess) the pepper:water (pepper:stock) ratio is similar to enchilada sauce.

  2. How many, of each kind of chilli, are you using?

  3. Hi Mark. I’d like to give you precise measurements, but it seemed like a couple of handfuls of each chili that was available at the Mexican market. I have got to assume that each mole is a bit different depending on the available chili combination.


  4. Christine Serna says:

    This was a great recipe! I looked for different ones that my husband would like and I didn’t want to use the jar of mole recipes. I like to make everything from scratch, and even though I am mexican american i never grew up eating any type of mole, but tried one that had peanut butter in it and i didn’t like it. My husband being born in Mexico was used to certain recipes was impressed that it smelled just like when his grandma used to cook it. He loved it too, and said it was a great for my first time making it.

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