From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time
- Toast and soak the chiles. Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium heat. When hot, lay a few chile pieces on the hot surface in single layer. Press down with a metal spatula until they change color and become aromatic—about 15 seconds. Flip the chiles and press down, toasting other side. Remove to a bowl. When all are toasted, cover chiles with hot tap water and weight with a plate. Let soak until soft, about 30 minutes.
- Roast the vegetables. Roast the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Cool.Return chile-toasting skillet to medium heat. Add three-quarters of the onion slices and all of the garlic. Roast the onion on both sides until soft and blackened in spots, about 8 minutes. Roast the garlic on all sides until soft and blackened in places, about 15 minutes. Cool.
- Toast the sesame seeds. Return the onion-roasting skillet to medium heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, then pour in the sesame seeds. Stir continually until the sesame seeds brown, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl.
- Blend the chile puree. Use tongs to transfer chiles to the bowl with sesame seeds, saving the soaking water. Add the oregano, cloves, pepper, cinnamon, raisins and almonds to the chiles and sesame seeds. Mix well, then scoop half of the mixture into a blender. Pour in just enough chile-soaking water to cover. Cover and blend at high speed until very smooth. Set a medium-mesh strainer over another bowl. Pour in the chile puree and press through with a rubber spatula. Discard the chile skins and sesame seed hulls left in the strainer. Blend the remaining mixture with the soaking water. Strain into the same bowl.
- Make the tomato puree. When the roasted tomatoes are cool, peel off and discard skins. Put the tomatoes in the blender with all the juices from the skillet. Peel and roughly chop the roasted garlic. Add to the blender along with the roughly chopped onion. Cover and blend at high speed until smooth. Wash and dry the skillet. Set over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. When hot, add the tomato puree. Cook—stir almost continually—until the tomato mixture thickens, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cook the mole. Set a large heavy pot (preferably a 6- to 9-quart Dutch oven) over medium to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. When hot, add the chile puree and stir continuously until the mixture becomes very thick—about 20 minutes. Scrape in the cooked tomato mixture, bread crumbs and chocolate. Add the chicken broth and stir until the chocolate melts. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes.Taste and season the mole with sugar (usually about 1 tablespoon) and salt (usually about 1 ½ teaspoons). Let the mole cool to room temperature, then blend again until silky smooth if desired.
- Assemble the enchiladas. On a baking sheet, lay out the tortillas and spray or brush lightly on both sides with oil; stack them in twos. Slide the tortillas into the oven and bake just long enough to make them soft and pliable, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and stack them in a single pile; cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.Holding a tortilla at one edge, dip most of it into the sauce, then lay it on an empty plate. Spoon a heaping 2 tablespoons shredded chicken down the center, roll up and lay on a dinner plate. Repeat with 2 more tortillas for the same plate. Douse the enchiladas with about ¼ cup of the hot sauce, and garnish with the remaining onion slices and parsley sprigs. Repeat for as many plates of enchiladas as you’d like to make. Carry to the table immediately.
Can mole be made ahead and chilled or frozen until use?
Yes it can. I would recommend putting it in the fridge rather than freezing it but both would work just fine.
How long does it last in the fridge?
A few days
I followed the recipe n it turned out awe full n bitter! Help!
Is it possible that you toasted the chiles too long? Sometimes that will happen if I toast the chiles too long.
This is more work than I usually do for a dish, but the results are well worth the effort!
I made a big mess in my kitchen, but I certainly have a grand batch of delicious mole to use for a while. Be forewarned that the ‘frying’ of both the tomato puree and chile mixture is sloppy and a bit dangerous in that gloppy, hot bubbles can hit your body…arms, face and hair. I kept turning the heat down and managed to keep stirring to keep the bubbles at bay. At the end of the process last night I was not sure if I liked what I had. I packaged the mole overnight and found that the flavors had melded and mellowed by morning. I do suggest letting the mole mellow before using.
I will cook with this mole in many ways including the recipe’s chicken enchiladas. My first dish this morning was scrambled eggs with mole stirred in, served with beans and cheese stacked on handmade corn tortillas. My only correction to this concoction would be to slather the entire dish with more mole. YUM! I am making the chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight.
Can I sprinkle some cheese or toasted seeds on the top to finish it off — can you recommend a cheese? What about onion inside with the chicken? These seem a little plain, but I don’t want to mess up the taste.
Both suggestions sound great! I would choose queso fresco if I were you, it would be so good on this recipe!
This is different from the Mole that was done on the show!
Can you tell me a bit about Mexican chocolate that Rick uses? I live in North Texas and have searched every mexican supermarket and all I can find is the mexican chocolate tablets for hot chocolate. Since there are a variety of types, maybe a little intor to chocolate?
FINDING: Most Mexican groceries, some well-stocked general groceries and via the internet.
CHOOSING: Each of the commercially available brands of this coarsely ground, cinnamon- infused chocolate has its followers, Ibarra apparently being the most popular (at least most widely distributed). All are quite sweet and without the full rich flavor of Mexico’s best regional examples. When traveling to a region of Mexico specializing in Mexican chocolate (e.g. Oaxaca, Michoacan or Puebla), it is worth bringing some home. Chocolate is allowed through customs.
STORING: Dark, cool, dry place, well wrapped, for up a year.
I made this mole twice and it turned out terrific!!! Loved it…..thank you.
Only variation- Used slightly less chocolate than recipe called for.
This looks beautiful. Rick is a person I trust when it comes to Mexican recipes. I made his mole negro a few years ago (the one he made for Obama) for a chef friend of mine. It was the most labor intensive process I’ve ever attempted in the kitchen, and I’m not afraid of dishes with over 20 ingredients that require a lot of work! Although I had no baseline as I’d never had a true mole negro before, the mole was deeply complex, smokey, with notes of espresso and mocha. I did end up adding some sugar as the chiles are quite bitter after being basically turned into charcoal as per the instructions.
Help! I love the recipe but am allergic to chocolate. What can I use as a substitute or should I leave it out?
Hi Joe-Chocolate in mole is pretty common but to keep you safe I would just leave it out. 😉
I watched the video 5 times, and followed the recipe step-by-step. I think, for me, the addition of 2 packages of the TAZA chocolate made it too bitter. I only toasted my peppers a few seconds on each side, no burning involved. I adjusted by adding the juice of 3 fresh small oranges, 1/2 a lemon, and some red wine vinegar, as well as a bit of sugar and salt. I would recommend reducing the amount of chocolate, and adding more if called for. Each pack was 2.7 ounces, and I think 1 pack or even 1/2 a pack would be enough to start with.
Taza has different Mexican Chocolates… there’s a bittersweet that’s 70%, an unsweetened one and a cinnamon one. I am right now trying to figure out which would be best. Can you remember which you used?
I had this with the duck breast at Frontera this weekend and it was great so I came here to see how to make it. I was told it was gluten free, do you substitute something for the breadcrumbs?
A trick I use to save thick laborious sauces like this, or to make them ahead of time is to freeze in the silicone ice-cube trays (about 2″ cubes in trays of 6 or 8) After they are frozen solid, I pop them out and vacuum seal them in into portions that I expect I would use for a subsequent meal. Most vacuum sealers will work well without needing an expensive chamber sealer to seal a liquid. I actually do this with lots of stuff (gravy, fresh fruit juice, etc) not just mole sauce.