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A weekend mole that doesn’t take all weekend

Mole Amarillo
Mole Amarillo


Moles are not everyday sauces. Truthfully, they’re not even every week sauces. In Mexico, moles are usually reserved for big parties and other special occasions, because, well, people have to work, you know? Capitalism doesn’t run on people sitting around and toasting chiles all day.

And yet for every rule, there is an exception, and that’s exactly what this recipe is. Rick’s Brothy Oaxacan Yellow Mole (a.k.a mole amarillo) is full of beautiful chile flavor and raises chicken (and even a plate of vegetables) to dinner party-status, yet it takes only 40 minutes to make—and 30 of those minutes are essentially unattended. Which gives you lots of time to do the weekend activity that’s second only to cooking: eating.

Mole Amarillo

Yellow mole is often served with chicken, chayote, potatoes and green beans.  It is also delicious with grilled fish and mussels.

From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time

Makes one quart of mole


Servings: 1Quart


  • 1ounce (4 medium)dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into several pieces
  • 1/2of a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire roasted), drained
  • 1/2small white onion, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/4teaspoon cumin (preferably freshly ground)
  • 1/4teaspoon allspice (preferably freshly ground)
  • 1/4teaspoon cinnamon (preferably freshly ground Mexican canela)
  • 1teaspoondried Mexican oregano
  • 1quart chicken broth
  • 2tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2tablespoonsmasa harina (or 1 ½ tablespoons fresh masa)
  • 2freshhoja santa leaves, torn into pieces OR ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro


In a blender jar, combine the torn guajillo chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices, oregano and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Blend as smooth as possible. (A food processor will work though it won’t completely puree the chile.)

In a very large (6- to 8-quart) saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high. Set a medium-mesh strainer over the top and pour in the chile mixture. Press the mixture through the strainer into the hot oil and stir until it’s noticeably thicker yet still light orange in color, about 5 minutes.

Scoop the masa harina (or fresh masa) into a blender and add the hoja santa (or cilantro) leaves. Add 1 cup of the broth and blend thoroughly. Pour the mixture through the sieve set over the pan into the cooked chile mixture. Whisk until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth and simmer for about a half hour. Taste and season with salt, usually about ½ teaspoon, depending on the saltiness of the broth, and serve with your choice of meat, seafood or vegetables.