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Fiesta Cashew Mole with Grilled Chicken edit

Mole_melissa_1 The “mole” is one of the most enigmatic and interesting foods from the whole world. It´s preparation and final result depends upon the diversity of ingredients used from city to city in México, and the personal preferences of the cooks. It is a very personal, unique dish which with the help of your imagination and personal touch will reach new dimensions in your kitchen.

This is a very time consuming dish to make, but the results are definitely worth the effort… until the last bite. Start three days ahead. Although traditionally in Mexico the mole is served with turkey, it is really not that important because the star is the mole itself. Serve it with any kind of meat: chicken, turkey, beef, pork, shrimp, or just plain with steamed white rice. This mole keep well refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to a month. If you choose to freeze the left over mole, thaw it in the refrigerator and then heat in a saucepan or microwave oven, adding some chicken broth if needed.

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Number of servings: 6-8


2 medium dried “ancho” chiles, stemmed, seeded and membranes removed

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (canned), seeded

2 dried “mulato” or “pasilla” chiles, stemmed, seeded and membranes removed

4 cups chicken or beef broth, divided

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large, ripe dark skinned plantain, peeled, thickly sliced

1/2 medium onion, chopped

8 oz (3-4) ripe plum tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted cashews

1/4 cup whole almonds

1/4 cup raisins

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon roasted peanuts

1 (1 inch) slice from firm French roll or Mexican bolillo, torn into pieces

1/2 teaspoon Mexican canela, ground (cinnamon)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup dry sherry (jerez)

Mexican chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (depending on how salty the broth is)

Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste.


1. Heat an ungreased medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast all the dried chiles until beginning to change color (15 seconds each side). Be careful not to burn them, as that will add a bitter taste to the mole. Using tongs transfer chiles to a large pot and add 2 cups of chicken or beef broth, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes until chiles are very soft, stirring occasionally  to ensure even soaking. Strain liquid and reserve. Chop chiles.

2.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the ripe plantain pieces and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon transfer to paper towels to remove the excess of oil. Add the onion, garlic cloves, tomatoes and fry, stirring regularly until they are well browned, no more than 10 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor along with the cooked plantains, cashews, almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, peanuts, bread, drained chipotles and other chiles, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and dried oregano. Add 2 cups of the broth (you could use the reserved liquid where the chiles were rehydrated) and blend until smooth. Remember to stir and scrape down the sides of mixture, adding extra broth if needed to keep everything moving and ensure a smooth mixture. Press the mixture through a sieve into a bowl.

3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the saucepan over high heat. When you see smoke coming up from the saucepan add the chile mixture all at once. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, then add the chocolate, dry sherry and reserved 2 cups of chicken or beef broth to the mole; simmer over low heat, partially covering the pot, for 40 minutes, stirring regularly to integrate all the flavors. You can thin the mole with additional broth to keep it the consistency of a creamy soup. Adjust seasonings and serve warm with roasted chicken and steamed rice.



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  • by Chef Melissa
  • June 12, 2006
  • 9:39 pm


Picture of amanda amanda said on...
06.13.06 at 04:55 AM |

there are very few food that compete with mole in my mind for being the best.  Great post!

Picture of Don Ray Don Ray said on...
06.13.06 at 06:54 AM |

One of my favorites. I am just too lazy to make it. Let me know when you have a little extra. smile

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
06.13.06 at 06:57 AM |

Thank you Amanda!

Don, I know…it takes forever to prepare this dish. But then I have enough for a long time grin I’ll let you know when I have some freshly made…

Picture of Nerissa Nerissa said on...
06.13.06 at 09:14 AM |

What a long recipe! I’ve never had mole anything *blush* I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

Picture of Fran Fran said on...
06.13.06 at 09:45 AM |

Oh wow Melissa—If I had read your post last week it would not have meant near so much to me—but—I just made a 22 ingredient mole verde last Saturday.  It is one of the 7 mole’s of Oaxaca.  Had to go to a special market for some of the ingredients—I kept thinking of you and wishing I could just call you and ask “what is this”?  Your recipe sounds delicious.  Will make it next time I make a mole.

Picture of Tanna Tanna said on...
06.13.06 at 09:47 AM |

Terrific photo. I might just try this without the meat but then I’d still have enough for another meal with meat! I’ve enjoyed mole and it’s probably time I tried my hand at making some. Um, maybe this is the dish I should make to celebrate when my kitchen is finally back together sometime in July.
Nice job.

Picture of CaDs CaDs said on...
06.13.06 at 01:44 PM |

NOW I’m hungry :D

Picture of Kat l'expat Kat l'expat said on...
06.13.06 at 02:43 PM |

Waw Melissa! Mole is really magic.  Thanks.

Picture of Jeanne Jeanne said on...
06.14.06 at 12:04 PM |

Hi Melissa

Great post!  I had read about mole on various blogs so last year when I went to Mexico I was determined to try it.  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to try a restaurant’s version, I got to eat mole at the kitchen table in my friend Iliana’s kitchen, being served by her mom and aunt.  Oh my word - it was absolutely delicious - such a complex flavour!  And a couple of months ago we had Ily’s mom’s mole again here in London - Ily had frozen a big block of the sauce and brought it back to London with her!!  Now THAT’s dedication wink  Thanks for the recipe and making an insurmountable task sound do-able!

Picture of Michelle Michelle said on...
06.16.06 at 06:06 PM |

Wow!  I would love to try mole, but just have never gotten around to making it.  It’s definitely on my “to do” list though, and now I have the perfect recipe.  It’s such a wonderful dish to eat!

Picture of Ruth Ruth said on...
06.17.06 at 08:08 PM |

Melissa, I love mole ever since I had some in Cancun a million years before it was the tourist mecca it is today.  My husband and I went there 16 years ago on our honeymoon and I met and fell in love with mole.  Interestingly, I just went to Kensington Market - a couple of streets in Toronto with shops from places around the world - and one shop in particular - the one that imports foods from Mexico, Central & South America.  The reason——to buy Mexican chocolate so I can make a chicken mole.  The kind I bought looks like round disks about 1” thick and indents for wedges.  It says it’s to make hot chocolate and it’s very sugary.  Is this the right kind of chocolate? or is there some other kind I should get.  I haven’t tried it yet because I forgot the special Mexican cinnamon.

At least now I’ll have a great recipe to try once I get the chocolate part right.

Please help!!

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
06.19.06 at 06:23 AM |

Dear Ruth, yes, you can use that chocolate too, but it is even better if you use the one without sugar so you can adjust the seasonings to your liking. A big hug!

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