Mole Sauce

The state of Oaxaca is known for its moles.  In fact, there are seven different types, all of them using chiles.  The most popular, however, is made with chocolate.  The recipe below is for this version.  This rich, complex sauce can be served with a variety of different main ingredients such as shrimp, chicken, turkey or pork.  It is also a topping used for dishes such as as enchiladas, tamales, and tacos de mole.  If you use it as a dipping sauce for corn chips, you will be paying tribute to the three pillars of Oaxacan cuisines: chocolate, chiles and corn. 


3 cup chicken broth

3 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch stipes

½ brioche hamburger roll (or dinner roll), cut into small cubes

5 tomatillos, cut in half horizontally

2 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly slices

4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in quarters

1/3 cup peanuts, chopped

¼ cup raisins

2 Tablespoons cumin seeds

1 Tablespoon dried thyme

3 cinnamon sticks

7 whole cloves

6 whole allspice berries

5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 ½ Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt


Cooking Directions:

1.       Heat chicken broth in a saucepan until it simmers.

2.       Put 2 cups in a blender and save the rest for later.

3.       Toast the three chiles in a dry frying pan stirring frequently over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes chiles are until warm and aromatic.

4.       Put chiles in blender.

5.       Using the same frying pan, toast the tortilla stripes and brioche cubes until lightly toasted.

6.       Add to the blender with the chiles and chicken broth and allow ingredients to soften for 10 minutes.

7.       Blend the mixture until smooth.

8.       Again, using the same frying pan toast the tomatillo and tomato halves until soft and blackened, around 3 minutes per side.

9.       Add this to the blender with the pepper mixture.

10.   Add olive oil to the frying pan.  Add the onions, garlic, nuts, raisins, cumin seeds, thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice berries.  Cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions and garlic are golden brown. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.

11.   Remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice berries. Add mixture to blender and purée until smooth.

12.   Pour mixture into a large saucepan and add final cup of chicken broth, sugar and salt.  Bring to a simmer stirring frequently.  Add chocolate pieces and stir until melted.  Stir constantly for 10-12 minutes until sauce thickens and slightly reduces.


Makes:  Approximately two cups. As this dish requires time and lots of ingredients, it is worth making it in quantity.  Luckily, a little goes a long way.  You will have leftovers from this for sure.  Mole freezes beautifully and makes a much-welcome gift for friends who appreciate Mexican cuisine.

Wine suggestion:  Try finding a robust red wine from Mexico!  A margarita or a good Mexican beer are also delicious alternatives.