Arcelia's Mole de Pollo

This Mole de Pollo recipe comes from Arcelia, the wife of our Foreman Nacho. While mole recipes vary in each state of Mexico, Arcelia is from Michoacán and her mole is influenced as such. Though, she uses Espelette chiles to add richness, a chile not normally found in Mexican cooking. This takes a few hours to make, but it's worth it.  
arcelia harvesting peppers


- Dutch oven
- Cast iron pan
- Medium 1 quart pot
- Blender
- Fine mesh strainer or sieve
- A few bowls

1 whole chicken, broken down into pieces (thighs, drumsticks, breasts cut in half, and carcass reserved)
2 bay leaves
4 quarts water
1/4 of a medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup canola oil, plus 2 Tbsp
5 whole Ancho chiles
5 whole Espelette chiles
2 whole Cascabel chiles
2 whole Mulato chiles
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/3 cup peanuts
1 medium tomato 
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 slice of stale bread
5 allspice berries
5 black peppercorns
5 cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 disc of Abuelita Hot Chocolate 
1 Tbsp salt

Chicken Preparation

1. In a large dutch oven, add 3 quarts of water, bay leaves, half of the chopped onion, and all the chicken parts. If you have the chicken carcass from cleaning the chicken, add that as well. 

2. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. 

3. Remove chicken and set aside in a bowl. Discard carcass. 

4. Strain stock and reserve 1 quart for mole sauce.

5. Jar up remaining stock, cool, and keep in your fridge. 

6. Rinse out dutch oven as you will need it again later.

Mole Preparation

1. Clean the chile peppers by removing the seeds and stems. You might want to wear gloves or immediately wash your hands after to clean the chile oils off your hands.

2. In a cast iron pan, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil over medium heat. Add the chiles and quickly fry the chiles on all sides. Do not burn the peppers. When chiles are done, use tongs to remove chiles from pan and set aside in a bowl. Clean the pan. 

3. In a medium pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the fried chiles, turn off the heat, and let sit for at least 15 minutes to soak. 

4. In the cast iron pan, heat 2 Tbsp of canola oil over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, tomato, garlic, bread, allspice, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. Stir to coat with oil and fry for about 5 minutes, until ingredients are fragrant. Do not burn. Turn off heat and transfer ingredients into a blender. 

5. Remove the hydrated chiles from the pot and add to the blender. 

6. Add as much of the reserved 1 quart of chicken stock that your blender can hold. Blend fully for a few minutes. 

7. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour blender contents through strainer, using a spatula to push everything through. Discard remnants left in the sieve. 

8. In the dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of canola oil over medium low heat. Before oil is too hot, slowly add the strained sauce, continuously mixing as you add it. If oil is too hot, the sauce with splatter. Add 1/2 disc of Abuelita chocolate and 1 Tbsp of salt and mix to melt chocolate. If you want a richer flavor, add remaining 1/2 disc of Abuelita. If mole is too salty, add more stock. Bring to a simmer over low heat.

9. Once mole is simmering, add chicken parts. Spoon mole over the chicken to cover. Simmer for about 40 minutes covered, or until mole has reached desired thickness. 

10. Serve with rice.