Chicken Mole Torta

Mexican mole sauce is infused with spices and melted milk chocolate.

  • Preparation Time35 mins
  • Cooking Time80 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the chicken mole

2 dried ancho chiles
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons milk chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
720ml chicken stock
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons almond butter
4 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts

For the sandwich build

1 450g tin refried beans
4 fresh bolillo rolls, warmed
Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
Pickled jalapenos
Fresh coriander leaves
Lime wedges, for garnish
Tomatillo salsa, recipe follows

For the tomatillo salsa

450g fresh tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed well
2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved
1/2 yellow onion, cut into thirds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh coriander
Juice of 1 lime
60g queso fresco or feta cheese

For the chicken mole: Preheat the oven to 176°C.

Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho chiles and bake for 5 minutes. When cool, roughly chop and set aside.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, a couple pinches of salt and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved ancho chiles and minced chipotle. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, almond butter, raisins and sesame seeds. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Place the mole into a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the mole back to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken in the sauce in one layer, making sure each breast is entirely coated, and gently simmer, flipping once during cooking, until the breasts register 71°C on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside off the heat and let rest.

Using your hands, remove the skin and meat from the bones and discard. Shred the chicken into smaller chunks and place back into the mole to keep warm. Season if necessary.

For the sandwich build: Heat the refried beans in the microwave until warm. Spread on the bottom of the bolillo rolls. Place the chicken on top of the beans with a little extra mole. Place some queso fresco on top of the chicken, slather the top bun with sour cream and adhere the lettuce. Top with the pickled jalapenos and cilantro and drizzle with the Tomatillo Salsa. Close, cut sharply on the bias and serve with fresh lime wedges. Two hands, bite hard.

For the tomatillo salsa

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Toss the tomatillos, garlic, pepper and onions with the olive oil and place evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until the tomatillos and onions are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. If necessary, remove the garlic sooner to avoid scorching. Remove the stem, ribs and seeds from the jalapeno (or keep them in if you want it hot). Add roasted vegetables, fresh coriander and lime juice into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and transfer to a bowl.

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