Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15th through October 15th. During this time, many Hispanic countries celebrate the anniversaries of their independence. These countries include Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Festivities include parades and festivals celebrating these countries, cultures, and traditions and of course special dishes prepared by each region.
Here in Central Texas, we have a diverse Hispanic population with so many amazing and delicious dishes and foods to celebrate. Today, we’re highlighting one common dish native to Oaxaca, Mexico, mole enchiladas. This dish usually consists of chicken or pork wrapped in white or yellow corn tortillas and covered in mole sauce. The sauce has an earthy sweetness and spices from poblano peppers, chilies, and chocolate. It may also be topped with sour cream, avocado, cotija or queso fresco cheese, cilantro, and sliced radishes.
Check out this recipe below to make your own chicken mole, including homemade or store bought sauce. I recommend the store bought brand Dona Maria, which pairs best with a chunk or two of Abuelita’s chocolate.
Chicken Mole Ingredients
- 2 cups mole sauce*
- 3 cups cooked , shredded chicken
- 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
- 12-14 corn tortillas , or 8 flour tortillas
Chicken Mole Toppings
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Chopped avocado
Homemade Mole Sauce Recipe
- Prep the veggies and peppers: Slice the onions, mince the garlic, cut the chilies open lengthwise with scissors and flatten, removing veins and seeds.
- Toast the sesame seeds in a large dry skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly and stop when they’re toasted. Don’t burn! Set aside.
- Set up a large pot to hold everything: Put 2 cups of water in a large saucepan and keep it on medium heat. You’ll be adding most everything to it as you go.
- Saute the chilies: Add a few tablespoons of oil to the skillet over medium heat. Once the oil in skillet is hot, add one layer of chiles at a time, frying on both sides for just a few seconds and being careful not to burn them. Add the chiles to your holding tank.
- Toast peanuts, almonds, raisins, animal crackers, corn tortillas, and bread slices: Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Do this between each ingredient. Toast each for about 45 seconds, stirring constantly so they don’t burn the add to holding tank, pressing down into the water.
- Saute onions, garlic and plantain: Turn the skillet heat to medium-high, adding more oil if needed to coat the bottom of the pan. Saute the onion for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for just a few seconds before spooning the onion and garlic into the holding pot. Add a little more oil and, when hot, add the sliced plantain. Fry on both sides and add to the holding pot.
- Saute seeds: (peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, anise, and crushed red pepper). Reduce heat to medium and add seeds to hot oil. Fry for a few seconds, stirring constantly, then add to the big pot.
- Add oregano, cinnamon, and chicken bouillon to the main pot and stir in..
- Set up a second big pot: Add 2 tablespoons of lard or oil to another large saucepan. Once melted, turn off the heat.
- Puree and strain the toasted ingredients: Working in batches blend everything in the first big pot until completely smooth. Add reserved chicken broth as necessary to facilitate blending. Pour each batch into the second pot through a fine mesh strainer discarding what’s left in the strainer. During one of the batches, add ¼ cup of the reserved toasted sesame seeds.
- Melt chocolate by pouring warm chicken broth over it and add it to the pot along with brown sugar, to taste (start with one tablespoon).
- Simmer the mole sauce over medium-low heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often. If the mixture is too thick, add more chicken broth (I usually end up using all of the remaining chicken broth). Taste and add salt or sugar, as needed.
- Plate and serve. Place chicken on a plate and ladle a big spoonful of sauce on top, then garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with Mexican rice and warm corn tortillas on the side.
Written by Victoria Luera, Lone Star Circle of Care Registered Dietitian. Published by Ashley Wild.