Recipe by Enrique Guerrero, Bang Bite • photo by Stephanie Cameron

Hot chiles and rich chocolate make this authentic mole sauce perfect for grilled meats. Mexican chocolate adds an intriguing complexity to the smoky, savory sauce.

Makes 56 cups

  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried pasilla chiles (also known as chiles negros),
         stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried cascabel chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried New Mexico native chiles (such as Jemez
        Pueblo, Velarde, or Chimayó), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 large tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup piñon nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Honey, to taste
  • Coarse salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Put the chiles on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 5–7 minutes.

Soak the roasted chiles in 1 cup hot boiling water for 30 minutes or until softened. (You may need to put a small plate on top of the chiles to keep them submerged in the hot water.)

Purée the chiles and soaking liquid in a blender. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside.

Purée the tomatoes in the blender. Next, add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, the pine nuts, apricots, cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cumin, chocolate, and bread crumbs to the blender. Purée to a smooth consistency. Add another 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and blend for about 30 seconds more.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the garlic and the chile purée and cook, stirring constantly, 7–13 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and darkened. Add the tomato purée and continue cooking, stirring constantly, 5–10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Add the remaining 2 cups chicken stock and bay leaves and stir. Partially cover the pot with a lid. Cook over medium-low heat for about 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should thicken enough to coat a spoon. Remove bay leaves.

Season with salt and honey to taste. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of sesame seeds. Serve with grilled chicken, cornish hens, or other poultry.

Note: This mole can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth.


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