Quick, Easy, Delicious Chicken Mole

There's a local restaurant, Consuelo Mexican Bistro, where I believe I had chicken mole for the first time. The sauce was thick, brown, chocolaty and amazing. While I've never looked up a recipe until this morning (good luck finding something not loaded with flour), I figured I'd give a try at making something similar last evening.

Before leaving San Jose yesterday afternoon to head up to our cabin in the mountains with friends, I stopped at the store and secured a large, 3-pound rotisserie chicken (already "rotisseried"). I also took along one 14-oz can of coconut milk and a bar of Trader Joe's dark chocolate (70% coco).

You won't believe how easy this is, and, since the chicken is already cooked, quick. First, put your pot on medium heat with the entire can of coconut milk, about 1/2 cup water, and the whole chocolate bar broken up. As that's coming to a simmer, cut the chicken into pieces, taking care to keep the skin intact and connected to the bird. Place them on a cookie sheet, skin side up, under the low broiler on the center rack so you're not too close. The idea is to crisp the skin. It should take 6-8 minutes until the chicken is sizzling pretty nice. In the meantime, scoop out any chicken fat from the bottom of the rotisserie container and add to the sauce. Then add the chicken to the sauce, pack tightly so that it's covered in sauce completely (add a bit more water if you have to. Also, return any drippings from the cookie sheet into the pot.

Should take 15 minutes or less to come up with something like this:

Chicken mole

And here's the finished product, with basmati rice cooked with about a teaspoon of cinnamon. This is the second recent dish I've featured with rice, so while it may seem I'm eating a lot of it, I'm not; so I hope I'm not leading anyone astray. I think it's one of the more innocuous non-paleo foods, in moderation, and I'm pretty convinced it's better than potatoes. And let me tell you, the cinnamon rice and chocolate and creaminess of the coconut-milk sauce was just killer. My good friend Robert, a very lean gentleman of Korean descent — who is not a big eater and is a natural intermittent faster — pigged out unlike I've ever seen him do.

Chicken mole2

I heartily encourage everyone to give this a try.

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  1. jim on March 21, 2009 at 14:38

    Where did you find a 30lb chicken?

  2. TrailGrrl on March 21, 2009 at 15:10

    Chicken Mole is one of my favorite things! It's hard to find good mole sauce though, even at restaurants. Most recipes for it are just way too involved, and then it doesn't taste like good mole anyway. Did you spice it up with anything? Also, how big of a Trader Joe's chocolate bar did you use?

    Coconut milk rocks!


  3. Matt on March 21, 2009 at 17:32

    I've made mole before … and I definitely did not use flour …. to get it more authentic, you're going to want to tweak your simmer sauce some, mainly by adding some pureed onion, tomato, and nut butter, then reduce reduce reduce. I used to make vats of the stuff and then freeze it off.

  4. Erin in Flagstaff on March 21, 2009 at 17:49

    This looks delicious. It sounds pretty easy too.

  5. Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2009 at 15:00

    Costco, man! :)

    (I'm guess you're reading in a reader. I fixed the error shortly after publishing.)

  6. Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2009 at 15:18

    Actually, I used no spices at all. The rotisserie chicken had a spice rub on it, but it didn't really come through too much and I'd have preferred an unspiced one — but was in a rush. I used the Trader Joe's brand, which is a medium sized bar. This is a guess, but maybe around 100g total.

  7. Jim on March 22, 2009 at 13:16

    ok, at least I am not crazy. I read the post within a few moments of it getting posted. I thought "where the heck do you buy a 30lb chicken!?!" I even tried to search online for giant chickens. After I posted you had already fixed the typo and I thought I had misread the post. A 30lb chicken would be amazing!

  8. Pam Maltzman on March 22, 2009 at 19:07

    Mole sauce (and lots of other Mexican food) sounds delicious… however, since the last time I ate it in a Mexican restaurant I was really sick for three or four days, I will content myself with meats with only mild spice, thank you very much. I've been advised by people who specialize in eating hot stuff that you can "get used to it" over time, but the end result, so to speak, just doesn't seem worth the process. Ouch!!

  9. Pam Maltzman on March 22, 2009 at 19:21

    Regarding big chickens: I have seen chickens up to about 8 pounds at a local Vallarta market, but they were relatively tasteless compared to the average-sized ones of 4 to 5 pounds.

    Oh, yeah, regarding fat: I've been deliberately adding _more_ fat (coconut oil, butter, CLO, pork fat) to my diet (as per the "Healing Naturally by Bee" anti-candida diet to which someone on your blog), and I'm finally starting to see some weight loss and looser-fitting clothes.

    Will be consuming mass quantities of coconut oil, butter, and other fats from now on.

    As someone of Jewish background, although I have never kept kosher (and in fact ate bacon growing up), it is still somewhat surprising to see lard and pork as health foods, but there it is.

    It's something which defies all the expectations with which I was brought up, considering how demonized pork still is. (Similar to how cholesterol is viewed by many people.)

    So… I'm also upping my egg consumption… and I'm using rendered pork fat at least part of the time. Another thing which surprised me was that I did not get any heartburn from the liberal use of pork fat with which to cook the eggs.

    Trader Joe's has several different types of eggs. But even their cheapest brand, which is a cut above supermarket eggs but not quite as good as free-range from a local producer, seem good to me, and I can see the difference. This summer, when the chickens are laying more eggs, I'll see if I can get a more consistent supply of free-range eggs without having to get store-bought eggs.

  10. Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2009 at 21:25

    I think TJ's jumbo eggs are a great value.

    Richard Nikoley

  11. Monica on March 23, 2009 at 06:40

    haha. Here's my story about jumbo eggs from way back when (ignore the omega 3 thing, I didn't know much then):


  12. Pam Maltzman on March 23, 2009 at 20:02

    Monica: I get a kick out of the occasional double-yolked egg I find among the extra-large and jumbo eggs, when I buy them.

    The last couple of nights, when I've been cooking some sunny-side-up for a late-night snack, I've been noticing quite a difference in the size of the yolk from one egg to another. The biggest ones were twice the size of the smallest ones.

    When I was a little kid, I visited my grandfather at his poultry market (he was a kosher butcher, among other things), and I got to eat eggs fresh from the chicken without the shell… he'd save whatever eggs were in the body of the hens he slaughtered, and take them home to cook.

  13. goldilocks on March 23, 2009 at 21:28

    Your coconut-milk tip has really gotten to be a household staple around here. I pour it over frozen blueberries, which is a gigantic hit with the kids.

    So versatile, and relatively inexpensive– a can of Thai coconut milk runs around a dollar here. Haven't tried it as a meat sauce yet, but that sounds interesting.

  14. Model Dana Michelle on March 24, 2009 at 08:00

    We don't have Trader Joe's here where I live so I will need to substitute with another brand & I'd like to know the size of chocolate bar used. Also, what was the sugar content of the bar? Looks great!

    Dana Michelle

  15. Model Dana Michelle on March 24, 2009 at 08:05

    This is actually not a typical Mexican Mole, which usually has chile & spice added to it. If you're going to try one, THIS would be the one to try Pam. This has no "spice" or "heat" to it, at all.

    DM ;)

  16. minneapolis J on March 23, 2009 at 23:09

    wow, looks good. richard is the chicken good on its own or is the basmati rice needed? i am sure grain here and there isnt bad but i am just curious

  17. Model Dana Michelle on March 24, 2009 at 18:43

    Cool, so that's not too bad on the sugar. I wonder about using a 90% bar if that might make a bit of a difference. I'll look into that & I'm going to add some chipotle for a bit of spice & more "mole" flavor! I'll let y'all know how it goes.

  18. Richard Nikoley on March 24, 2009 at 11:26

    Yes, it's fine without the rice, and, of course, you could use something else like sweet potato, even cauliflower. You could also have it alone, and I'd just thicken a bit more.

  19. Richard Nikoley on March 24, 2009 at 11:42

    Actually, I was mistaken. It's from World Market and it's 82% cacao. Total bar is 86g: 42g fat (26 sat fat), 34g carb (12g sugar), and 8g protein.

  20. Richard Nikoley on March 24, 2009 at 11:43

    Right, no chili spice added. I'll likely do that next time.

  21. Model Dana Michelle on March 25, 2009 at 17:31

    Hey Richard,
    I went to World Market today & I bought the Chocolate Bar with Chipotle Chile Peppers already in it to try it & see how that works, I will add some cumin, going to try it in a few days. I'll let you know how this works….DM ;)

  22. Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2009 at 16:17

    Last night I took the leftovers (2 servings) and added one teaspoon of chili powder and a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper. Great improvement (as if it needed amy, really) so that's how I'll make from now on.

    Richard Nikoley

  23. Monica on March 25, 2009 at 17:25

    I'm making this tonight, only using roast chicken. I will probably add some onion and tomato and possible some chipotle and chili powder to the sauce. I'll let you know.

  24. Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2009 at 17:44

    I added chili powder & cayenne to the leftovers. Well worth it.

    Richard Nikoley

  25. Elliot on March 28, 2009 at 14:37

    I tried this last night, but I found the coconut was overpowering, dominating the flavor of the sauce. I used a 13.5 oz. can(*) of Thai "first press" coconut milk, which came out lumpy. I may try again with the watery variety of coconut milk, but I definitely wouldn't make it again with the same proportions.

    Also, I would add a lot of spices, peppers, onions, etc. to it. Before I started dieting, I loved to eat spicy Mexican food. I'm glad to see some good recipes that are lowER carb.

    The only other time I had this kind of dish was the Polo En Mole Poblano dish at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, which set the bar very high. (That place is far better than any other Mexican restaurant at which I've eaten.)

    (*) The can of coconut milk had a non-standard rim and wouldn't fit in a rotary can opener. Nor could I get a church key to grab the side to puncture it. I ended up smacking a butter knife through the lid several times. That was just weird.

  26. Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2009 at 16:15

    Hmmm. I can't imagine the coconut milk having a noticeable flavor. In mine it wasn't in the slightest. How much dark chocolate did you use? My bar turned out to be somewhere in the high 80s in grams. It's not uncommon for the coconut milk to be lumpy. That's the fat, but once you put heat to it it smoothes out.

    Also, I did add back in the chicken fat that came off in the broiler.

    Finally, for the leftovers I did add in some chili powder and cayenne which I think improved it, so there may be your key.

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