WARNING!! This recipe is not short or easy, but if you are like me and don’t mind checking out your local Hispanic market, spending a couple hours in the kitchen experimenting with something new, and losing sleep over whether or not your guests will like it–then this recipe is for you! I promise you will end up with a bunch of extra mole sauce that can easily be frozen and used another time.
This recipe starts with de-stemming and de-seeding 10 dried ancho and 5 dried quajillo chiles, both of which I was able to find at my local Hispanic market.
The chiles are toasted and soaked to soften while the remaining ingredients are toasted in various rounds of the pan. At the end, everything is added to the blender.
Using the chile soaking sauce to thin, everything is blended until smooth.
Note: a high speed blender probably works best here, but if you are left with bits and pieces of the cinnamon stick or other ingredients strain the sauce before adding to the pan.
The sauce is then added to the pan with a bit of vegetable oil, chocolate (the best part!), and 2 cups reserved chicken cooking liquid (if you are also making the enchiladas, but if not, vegetable broth would also work). Everything simmers until desired thickness is reached. Yum!
The sauce itself could be used for a variety of things, but I chose to use it to make enchiladas…my favorite! I cooked and shredded chicken thighs and tossed them with 1/2 cup mole sauce for the filling.
To assemble the enchiladas, I placed about 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of warm corn tortillas. Rolled them up and placed them seam side down in a 9×13 rectangular baking dish with about 1/2 cup mole sauce spread on the bottom. Then I spread about 1/2-3/4 cup more mole sauce over the enchiladas and baked at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes until heated through.
Topped them off with crumbled queso fresco and fresh cilantro. Served them to the in-laws and they were a hit! This recipe can be prepared in various stages. The chicken and the sauce can be prepared the day before and the enchiladas can be prepared the following day–this helps break it up a bit. I lost sleep over this one, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out! Enjoy!
Chicken Mole Coloradito Enchiladas
Serves 4-6 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!
Total time: 2+ hours
For the chicken:
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¼ medium white onion, cut into large chunks
3 cloves garlic, peeled
5 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
For the Mole Coloradito (makes about 6 cups):
10 dried red ancho chile peppers
5 dried guajillo chile peppers
Enough boiling water to cover the dried chiles
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 3-4” cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
½ teaspoon anise seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ medium white onion, cut into large chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons raisins
3 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into pieces
4 medium plum tomatoes, cored (canned is fine)
½ cup Mexican chocolate, cut in pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
For the enchiladas:
12 6-inch corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup crumbled queso fresco
¼ bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
Lime wedges for serving (optional)
Plain yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)
To cook the chicken:
- Put the chicken, onion, garlic, peppercorns, and salt in a large pot. Pour in water, adding more if the chicken is not covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover until chicken is cooked through very tender; about 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken, reserving liquid, shred with two forks, and transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate if not using within 30 minutes.
To prepare the Mole Coloradito:
- Wash the chiles with a damp cloth. Remove the stems, split open with a knife and remove the seeds and veins. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chiles until lightly toasted; about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large glass bowl. Cover with boiling water to soften; about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the chiles, reserving 2-3 cups liquid, and add to a blender.
- In the same dry skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds, tossing until golden; about 5 minutes. Transfer to blender.
- Again, in the same skillet, toast the cinnamon stick, cloves, anise seeds, and coriander seeds until fragrant; about 3 minutes. Add to blender.
- 4. Still in the same dry skillet, add the onion and garlic and toast until nicely brown in spots. Add to blender.
- Add tomatoes to blender.
- Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons oil to the same skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds, raisins, and torn corn tortillas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden, the raisins are plump, and the tortillas are golden brown; about 2-5 minutes. Add to blender.
- Pour ~1/2 cup reserved chile soaking liquid (being careful not to pick up any rogue seeds). Turn on blender. Working ½ cup at a time, carefully pour in 1 ½-2 ½ cups reserved chile soaking liquid (avoiding seeds) through the hole in the top of the blender until the sauce is thick and smooth.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pour in the chile sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened; 5-6 minutes.
- Add 2 cups reserved chicken cooking liquid (straining if necessary) and simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add chocolate, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts and the sauce reduces; about 20 minutes.
- Add sugar and salt to taste. Use immediately and/or portion out and freeze for future use.
To assemble enchiladas:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with about ½ cup mole sauce.
- Microwave chicken if not warm. Stir 1 cup shredded cheese and ½ cup mole sauce into shredded chicken.
- Coat both sides of tortillas with vegetable oil spray. Arrange 6 tortillas on a large baking sheet and bake until soft and pliable; 2-4 minutes.
- Working quickly, fill each tortilla with ¼ cup chicken mixture, roll, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
- Pour 1 cup more mole sauce over enchiladas. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro.
- Serve with lime wedges, yogurt, and more mole sauce on the side.
Tags: Chicken, Enchiladas, Mexican, Mole, Recipe