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Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole

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Dark chocolate and spices add richness to the Mexican chile sauce called mole (MOH-lay). Simmer it in a slow cooker along with chicken thighs for a warming weeknight meal.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Everyday Food, December 2011

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Directions

  1. Season chicken thighs with salt and place in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. In a blender, puree tomatoes, onion, ancho and chipotle chiles, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, oil, cumin, and cinnamon until smooth.

  2. Add tomato mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Serve chicken and sauce topped with cilantro.

Cook's Notes

Serve this dish over rice, or try it with Rice Pilaf with Peas and Almonds.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11844186
    25 JUN, 2017
    This is a very easy and very delicious recipe. My mexican friend said - this is not true mole..... but when she & her BF, came over dinner - they loved it. We have been cooking this for years and has been a hit at dinner parties of 10-12 people. The sauce is delicious and is so easy to make. We love it.
    Reply
  • MS11575675
    16 MAY, 2017
    Note to Martha's staff -- why on earth would you filter the words "[filtered]y" and "subs[filtered]ute?" Please put them back in my text so people can understand what I wrote. Thank you!
    Reply
  • MS11575675
    16 MAY, 2017
    Mole Poblano is one of the world's great sauces. I suspect the problem with some people's results may be that this recipe does not use all real Mexican ingredients. (Though it's simplified, it's not a bad version of a mole recipe. An authentic mole has over 100 ingredients.) One of the main offenders is probably the chocolate. Bitter chocolate won't work at all. Bittersweet chocolate has much less sugar in it than Mexican chocolate used for mole (Ibarra or Abuelita). I think this is why the salt improved it, but didn't make it really good. Go to the ethnic or Hispanic section of a good grocery store and look for Ibarra (my fave). If the sauce is not rich enough, add some more chocolate and taste again. Or, you could experiment with adding some sugar if you use the bittersweet American chocolate. (Note that the person who doubled the chocolate said the sauce was phenomenal.) Also, when using chipotles in adobo, be very careful of the amount of adobo since it is very [filtered]y. One chipotle with just a little adobo clinging to it would be enough [filtered]e for me! It won't work to subs[filtered]ute a can of chipotles in adobo for the anchos, which are milder and give a smoky, smooth flavor to the sauce. For those cooks who want to try the mole again, but don't want the insecurity of making the recipe, Dona Maria (brand) makes a decent mole in a jar. Thin it with chicken broth (homemade, if possible) and add a chunk or 2 of Ibarra (1/2 to 1 round of chocolate). I hope this helps more of you to enjoy this wonderful, exotic dish which Mexicans use to celebrate very special occasions.
    Reply
  • MS11322780
    17 SEP, 2015
    Delicious and easy! As the others said, it makes a lot of sauce. I shredded the chicken, cooked a little longer in the sauce and used it in tacos. YUM. It has been added to the family's 'Keeper Recipe' list.
    Reply
  • MS10940915
    16 FEB, 2014
    I ended up using bittersweet chocolate, but doubled the amount...the dish was phenomenal! Will make it again, and soon.
    Reply
  • MS10940915
    15 FEB, 2014
    Can I use Mexican chocolate instead of bittersweet? ie Abuellita or Ibarra? It seems more dense and not as sweet, so I am not sure if it would work.
    Reply
  • cellochick451
    13 FEB, 2014
    This was a great recipe but it makes A LOT of sauce. If I had known I would have frozen about half of the sauce. It is important to make rice with this. It would be a little weird to just eat this on its' own. I didn't use an ancho chile and it was fine. I did use a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo. I can take heat but this is about at my limit. I would recommend using only one chipotle chile like martha says. I also think you should use 4 oz of chocolate to make the flavor rounder.
    Reply
  • cellochick451
    13 FEB, 2014
    This was a great recipe but it makes A LOT of sauce. If I had known I would have frozen about half of the sauce. It is important to make rice with this. It would be a little weird to just eat this on its' own. I didn't use an ancho chile and it was fine. I did use a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo. I can take heat but this is about at my limit. I would recommend using only one chipotle chile like martha says. I also think you should use 4 oz of chocolate to make the flavor rounder.
    Reply
  • Emily9802
    30 JAN, 2014
    I have a powerful blender (like a Vita Mix), so I didn't bother with all the chopping and just tossed everything in whole and pureed it. It makes a LOT of sauce. I had about 3 lbs of thighs and it was far, far more than needed and nearly overflowed my 4-quart pot. Next time I'm going to use 2 lbs of thighs and freeze half the sauce for next time and it'll still be plenty to have lots of sauce. We both thought it needed a touch more salt, but we just added some sea salt to our bowls.
    Reply
  • lhamid123
    19 JAN, 2014
    Instead of the almonds, raisins and chocolate I used (are you ready?) NUTELLA! I used 6 chicken thighs, heaping tablespoon of Nutella and instead of the cinnamon and cumin I substituted a heaping teaspoon of homemade Garam Masala (whole black pepper, cumin seed, coriander seed, cinnamon stick, black cardamom seed, star anise - grind to powder in spice grinder). Also added a good pinch of salt. After 6 hours in the slow cookwer, I got a silky smoky sauce. Good stuff. Will make this again
    Reply