M. Andrew Gordon

“Quick” Chicken Mole

In Main Dish on March 28, 2010 at 7:38 pm

A while back I got a call out on here to make a mole.  Now, since I had never made mole before, I figured it might be better to try my hand at an actual recipe rather than just fly by the seat of my pants as I so often do when I enter the kitchen.  In February, while planning a little dinner party in honor of myself (my birthday), I decided to make mole.  I scanned a few different recipes, familiarized myself with the basic ingredients – let me just say, there is nothing basic about mole or the many different recipes that exist – and settled on using Rick Bayless’ Classic Red Mole.  Mr. Bayless is a pretty well respected chef who has really brought traditional Mexican cuisine from the brink of lousy margaritas, overly cheesy enchiladas, and limp tacos.  But the recipe made a ¾ of a gallon, far more mole than I would probably need.  I halved the recipe and still wound up with more than I needed.  Using one of my favorite tips for freezing leftover sauces, stocks, or wine, I bought a couple new ice cube trays and divided the remaining mole between them.  Now, when I need some mole for something, I can pop out a cube or two or three and instant mole.  It’s kind of perfect, actually.

I’ve already made a chicken and bean rice with mole in it.  And, last weekend, I pulled out the mole trays and made some quick mole chicken.  Unfortunately, you can’t really follow this recipe unless you have mole already made.  But here’s what you do.

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Rinse and dry four chicken legs and thighs.  Give the legs a good pinch of black pepper and salt.  Roast for one hour.
  • Periodically while the legs are roasting, brush liberally with mole.  You’ll probably need about one cup.  Reserve a small amount for finishing the chicken.
  • After the hour, preheat the broiler.  Broil the chicken for a few minutes until the skin is golden, being careful not to burn the mole.
  • Let chicken cool, about 20 minutes.  Scrape the mole off and place in a 9X9 pan.  Remove the skin from the chicken and using your hands, pull the meat off the bones and place in the 9X9 pan.  Stir all meat into the sauce, and if necessary, use the reserved mole.  Cover and place in warm oven.
  • Heat tortillas in skillet and serve with mole chicken and a good salsa or citrus slaw.

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