Shredded Chicken Mole

Mole is a Mexican sauce that features chocolate along with other spices and textures. It is a time consuming recipe, but very special. This particular shredded chicken mole dish can be served over rice, as an enchilada or even as a taco. For more elegant dining, I would recommend a lime and cilantro rice for the base with the shredded chicken mole on top. Then you can use the left overs as a quick enchilada or burrito.

You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but I prefer to use bone-in skin-on thighs to get more flavor in the meat.


  • Chicken
    • 2 lbs chicken thighs
    • 40 oz. carton of chicken stock
    • 1 onion – quartered
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 bay leaf
  • Lime-Cilantro Rice
    • TBL salted butter
    • 1 cup basmati rice
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • juice from 2 limes – divided
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 TBL fresh cilantro – chopped
  • Mole Sauce
    • 2 TBL Olive oil
    • 1  onion – diced
    • 2 cloves garlic – minced
    • 1 bolillo – or 8″ of French bread cut into1-inch pieces
    • 2 dried ancho chiles – rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and diced
    • 2 New Mexican red chile pods – rinsed, stemmed, seeded, diced
    • 2 tomatillos – husks removed, rinsed, and diced
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • 1 tsp sesame seeds
    • 2 TBL smooth peanut butter
    • 1.5 oz. Mexican chocolate, or substitute
      • 1.5 TBL cocoa powder
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/4 tsp almond extract – optional
    • 2 tsp cocoa powder
    • 3 TBL mole paste – Dona Maria is a good option
    • 2 tsp Kosher salt


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Prepare the chicken
    1. There are many ways to prepare the chicken for shredding. Sous vide is my preferred method, but that takes several hours.
    2. A quicker method is to boil the meat
      1. In a large pot, heat stock, salt, onion, chicken, and bay leaf.
      2. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer for ~20 mins.
      3. Transfer chicken to plate to cool off, and then shred.
      4. Discard bay leaf but reserve broth and onion.
  3. Make the Mole Sauce
    1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bolillo, chiles, tomatillos, tomato, and sesame seeds and sauté for ~10 mins until soft. 
    2. In a blender
      1. Pour in half the broth and boiled onion
      2. Add half the sautéed ingredients.
      3. Add peanut butter, chocolate pieces, cocoa powder, mole paste, and salt.
      4. Blend until smooth.
      5. Transfer sauce back to the skillet. 
    3. Pour the other half of the broth and sautéed ingredients into blender and puree. Pour the mixture into the large skillet.
    4. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer ~10 mins. 
  4. Make lime-cilantro rice – while sauce is simmering.
    1. In a saucepan over low heat melt the butter.
    2. Add the rice and sugar. Mix briefly to coat the rice with the butter and sugar.
    3. Add half the lime juice and stir ~1 min.
    4. Add water and salt
    5. Bring the rice to a boil over medium-high heat.
    6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender: 20-25 mins.
    7. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro, the rest of the lime juice, and more salt if needed.
    8. Fluff rice with a fork. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Plate
    1. While sauce simmers, cook rice or prepare enchiladas
    2. When sauce is ready, add 2 cups of the shredded chicken and stir until chicken is covered with the sauce.
    3. Lower heat and simmer for ~10 mins, stirring continuously to keep it from sticking to skillet.
    4. Place lime cilantro rice on place and cover with the mole sauce. Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.