One of the most love dishes in Mexico is “mole”. Mole, from Nahuatl mōlli, meaning “sauce” is a very sophisticated and delicious dish, full of history. There are different varieties of mole, some have a few ingredients and other have a very long list of ingredients and take hours to prepare.
Oaxaca, a state in the southeast of Mexico is well known because of its long list of moles and “Mole Negro” (Black Mole) is one of them. I made this mole for a collaboration with a company based in London that sells Mexican products and to be honest, I am happy they asked me if I could cooked this mole for them, as I kept meaning to do it, but for some reason, I could never find the time to do it.
These days is very easy to find a ready-made mole paste, not only in Mexico, but everywhere, but making mole from scratch is an art and a labour of love as it is quite labour intensive, it takes quite a bit to make and it is usually eaten within minutes. Mexican families make mole for special occasions and when they do, they don’t only make a little pot, they make a lot, but at home I tend to do only a little for my family and me.
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To make the Mole Negro paste
- 6 large ancho chillies stems and seeds off
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 tomatillos if you can't find any, it is fine.
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 platoon peeled and sliced
- 4 small garlic cloves peeled
- ⅓ cup sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried epazote or 3 small fresh leaves
- 1 small stick cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 5 black peppercorns
- 10 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp water
To make the Mole Negro
- 4 chicken legs skin and bones
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp salt
- mole negro paste
To make the Mole Negro Pate
- Heat a large frying pan on high heat and start toasting the ancho chillies, making sure to turn them around to toast evenly. Remove until they are black. Set aside.
- Then in the same frying pan, toast the almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds and set aside.
- Using the same frying pan heat 5 tbsp vegetable oil and fry the tomatoes, onion, plantain and garlic cloves. Fry each ingredient individually.
- Add all the ingredients in a high-speed blender: Toasted ancho chillies, spices, vegetables.
- Add 4 tbsp water and blend until very smooth. The result will be a dark brown thick sauce.
- Heat 5 tbsp vegetable oil and add the mole sauce. Fry stirring constantly until the sauce change colour from dark brown to black and all liquid has gone and has become a paste.
- This is the mole negro paste that can be store in the fridge for one week.
To make the Mole Negro
- Place the chicken thighs in a large cast iron pot and add 2 tomatoes cut in half, half an onion, garlic cloves and salt.
- Bring this to a boil and remove any impurities. Cook the chicken for 40 minutes and set aside
- Heat another cast iron pot and add the mole paste, then using a ladle add 3 ladles of the chicken stock and dissolve the mole paste. Cook for around 30 minutes, making sure to add some chicken stock from time to time.
- The mole has to have a thick smooth consistency similar to homemade custard. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and add them to the mole, once this has reached a nice consistency.
- Serve with a delicious tomato rice and warm corn tortillas to scoop the last of the mole negro sauce from the plate. Enjoy!
I would love to hear if you liked this recipe, tag me on social media #mexicanfoodmemories to see your creations. And if you want to learn to make this recipe and more, join me in one of my Mexican Cooking Classes in North London.