Have you ever had mole (molé) sauce? It’s a rich, dark-colored sauce native to Mexico and one of my favorite dishes to order at any Mexican restaurant. One reason mole is so popular is that, while there are many variations, most of them contain chocolate. Traditional mole varies from town to town in Mexico, containing anywhere from 10 to 50 ingredients. Some recipes call for crushed peanuts, which is all the info I needed to combine my love for Mexican cuisine with peanut butter and create one of the best moles I’ve tasted. I didn’t copy Rachel Ray to create this dish – in fact, I think I came up with the idea first! You may be wondering how difficult it is to make, but I’ve developed methods to make it in a crockpot (slow cooker) or on the stove, with very little effort required. I highly recommend you make this not just because it’s phenomenal, but also because how often do you get to eat chocolate and peanut butter for dinner?
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
4 cloves garlic, minced
2T toasted sesame seeds
1T chili powder
1t ground cumin
1t ground cinnamon
1/2t ground coriander
1/8t ground nutmeg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/4 cup peanut butter
1T maple syrup
1T brown sugar
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast (4-6 large breasts)
Crockpot / Slow-Cooker: Place all ingredients except for the chicken in a slow cooker. Stir sauce until mixed, taste, and adjust seasonings to taste. Add chicken and stir to cover the chicken. Place lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours. If desired, remove chicken, and puree the sauce using an immersion blender or food processor. Serve the chicken breasts and drench in sauce.
Stove top: Preheat a large pot on medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and add the chicken. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Spray the pot with cooking spray and cook the onions until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. If you like a smooth creamy sauce, you can puree the sauce with an immersion blender or a regular blender. Add chicken to the sauce and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is very tender and falls apart.
There are thousands of varieties of mole sauce in Mexico and you’ll never have the same one twice. Along the same lines, you can customize this dish to taste, some like it spicy, others like it sweet. Experiment with the chili powder, chipotle peppers and sugar to adjust to your tastes.