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Mole sauce? What to do with it?

I stopped today at a grocery store that caters to the Hispanic community for some good produce (which they have, and it is much cheaper than my regular Acme). I also picked up a pint of prepared Mole sauce. I love chicken mole, but I'm not sure what to do with this sauce. Do I just pour it over the chicken and bake? The only directions say to add chicken broth or bouillon to it, but there are no amounts listed. I also purchased some fresh flour tortillas, chipotle chilies in adobo, and queso fresco. I do love chicken enchiladas with mole sauce, but again, what do I do to the mole sauce? It seems pretty thick.

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  1. I have only one recipe that I make with mole, and I make my own.

    I wouldn't just pour it over and bake it, although it may turn out great.

    My recipe calls for chicken thighs, and that works really well. I am guessing that a mole is a peasant dish, sort of like cacciatore is for Italians. My recipe for mole says to brown the chicken thighs in oil on both sides. Then you place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the mole over the top and bake for about 45 minutes. When I make my mole recipe, there is enough sauce to cover the chicken thighs and bake it at 350.

    I don't know about the enchaladas with mole sauce though, but it sounds good to me.

    1. Agree with mcel215 that you should cook the chicken first. My (Mexican) husband generally boils the chicken first using generally a mix of legs and thighs. In a separate large saute pan, he'll make the mole. When he uses prepared mole, he just adds stock to the consistency desired, so in your case I'd just add it slowly until it comes up to the consistency you remember and enjoy. Then, let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, he'll place the chicken into the now hot prepared mole and cook it down for a few minutes, and then simply serve with warm tortillas.

      If you want to make enchiladas, once you take the chicken out of the hot water, let it cool for a few minutes. Then you can cut or rip it up for the enchiladas. You can add some chicken to the mole, and then just roll some into the tortillas and pour sauce over it (which in Mexico City are usually made with corn tortillas, though it may be with flour in the north), tossing on a bit of queso fresco at the end. Or, alternatively and quite common in Mexico, is to wrap some of the chicken directly into the tortilla, and then pour a generous portion of mole over them.

      1. The prepared mole in the jar is a concentrated paste with spices in oil. After experimenting with this a few times, what I usually do (and which may not be authentic), is to saute the chicken in a skillet and then add a couple of tablespoons of the mole paste and saute it in the oil, and then add chicken stock until it's the right consistency.

        1. You say it's pretty thick? Is it mole paste? I think it may be since the directions tell you to add broth.

          Ok, I normally take a few heaping spoonfuls of the mole paste, and toss it in a sauce pan with an amount of chicken broth close to the total volume of sauce you will want to end up with. Heat it up slowly, and whisk it to mix the paste into the broth. Add more paste to get it to "mole consistency." I have yet to find a prepared mole that doesn't need doctoring up, and I usually start with a little extra chile, chocolate (depending on what style mole it is,) and a touch of sesame oil, but, of course, your tastes might differ. My normal easy prep for a mole dinner:

          Grilled or smoked chicken, rice or mashed potatoes, and grilled mushrooms.

          Cover the plate with mole, center a mound or rice or potatoes, cover the starch with sliced chicken, or a portion of the chicken if smoked whole, and then scatter grilled mushrooms around. guac, or avocado slices, and warm tortillas.

          Smoked pork, grilled steak, duck breast, grilled fish - same deal.

          1. After tiring from chicken salad in a dozen forms, I sometimes blend half of an 8.25 oz. jar of Dona Maria mole sauce with a cup of chicken stock, sautee a chopped vidalia onion and 1-2 minced jalapenos, pick and shred a rotisserie chicken, mix it all and serve on hamburger buns. It's my poultry version of a sloppy Joe, a sloppy Jose.

            4 Replies
              1. re: Cachetes

                We should team up and put that one on the current "do your dishes need a cool name" post!

            1. These ideas all sound really good. Especially the sloppy joe idea! The mole sauce I bought was in the refrigerated section of the grocery and in a plastic container. It looks home made so I am looking forward to trying it. I just have this craving for enchiladas mole so I may give that a try.

              1. So here's what I ended up doing: I was just finishing up some chicken stock that I made in the crock pot. I added chicken breasts( with bones and skin) and let them cook in the hot stock for an hour or 2. They came out moist and perfect. I removed the skin and bones and shredded the chicken. I cut up a chipotle pepper in adobo and added that to the shredded chicken. I thinned out the mole with some of my fresh stock and added some to the chicken mixture. I then put the chicken mixture into fresh tortillas with a bit of finely chopped onion and some queso fresca. Poured some more hot mole mixture over the enchiladas and grated some of the cheese over top. A sprinkle of the finely chopped onion completed the enchiladas. They were delicious!! I would absolutely make this again and it was really easy. BTW: the mole was sold in the cheese section of the store and was freshly made. Maybe that made all the difference.Thanks everyone for your very helpful suggestions. And if you get a chance, do try making chicken stock in the slow cooker. So easy and so tasty!

                5 Replies
                1. re: mschow

                  Sounds splendid; a couple Q's: Did you bake them or nuke them? Corn tortillas, I assume? If you baked them, any "crunch" factor, or enough liquid? Thanks.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Everything was hot when I did this. I had the chicken mixture with some mole sauce in a bowl ready ahead of time and just nuked it. I used flour tortillas because that's what i had on hand. The mole sauce was hot on the stove. I just put the hot chicken mixture in the tortillas (too lazy and it was 99 here yesterday to bother to warm the tortillas up). Added some cheese on top of the chicken mixture and closed up the enchiladas. Topped it off with the hot mole sauce and sprinkled cheese on top. The heat from the chicken and the hot mole sauce melted everything just fine.
                    I made an extra one and had it for brunch this morning. That one I nuked on very low, covered with plastic wrap. Still just as good.

                    1. re: mschow

                      Thanks, mschow, I'm taking copious notes. I'll bet that chopped chipotle in adobo added some zing! I asked about the tortillas because flour hold up better in a baked, casserole type dish.
                      My latin markets in Florida don't have home-made mole or even paste; I miss Mexico.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        I'm way up in South Dakota. I've never been to Mexico. I got mine at Wal Mart. I'm sure it's not as great quality but at least I'll never know the difference. I'm getting very eager to try this out. I think it also is sold at my local Sunshine

                  2. re: mschow

                    That sounds delicious - I am jealous that you got to add the queso fresco, since it is hard to find around where I live. Thanks for sharing

                  3. To tag along with this thread - I have some mole paste that someone brought back from Mexico for me. I thought of using it with some double pork chops I have. My plan so far:

                    Sear pork chops - maybe cook a bit since they are so thick. Remove from pan, add oil if needed, and some mole paste and broth. I also have some passata that is open and I'd like to add, and I have loads of various dried Mexican chiles that I could add. What else? Onions? My thought was then to simmer covered for while after adding the chops back in. I realize this may well be unorthdox - but I have plenty of paste so can do something more authentic later. I've been talking about doing this for ages and my husband wants to wait no more!

                    Appreciate any suggestions.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: MMRuth

                      That's pretty much what I would do, but I have no idea whether it's authentic.

                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                        Thanks - I don't aspire to authenticity with this one. I may add some cilantro as well, and serve it with rice (though I only have basmati white rice, so it won't be authentic that way either - don't want to use my bomba or arborio for this).

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          The mole is sufficiently piquant: save your dried chilis, and consider folding in strips of yellow and red sweet peppers at the "simmer" phase. The flavor contrast and a splash of color may work well. FWIW.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Ah, that's a nice idea, thank you. I was warned that it was spicy, so I'll heed your advice.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              This turned out very nicely, though my husband nixed adding the peppers. I seared the chops in a very hot pan with a little grapeseed oil, removed, added one chopped onion, cooked until soft, added one T mole paste, cooked, decided to add another. Then added half a cup of chicken broth, cooked down a bit, then about half a jar of passata, salting along the way. Added the pork chops back and simmered, covered, for 20 minutes. I served with some cilantro leaves and (Eat Nopal, don't shudder) some grated ricotta salata, which I thought (kind of) approximated queso fresco. It was delicious, though not spicy in the "hot" sense, just lovely spice flavors.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                OOooooh, I wanna bite! Looks delicious!

                      2. re: MMRuth

                        Love that idea. I just came back from my first trip to LA and got a bunch of great stuff at the Grand Central Market --a wonderful place! The Latina TSA checker at the airport approved (although she also had to x-ray my bag twice)! I have a green mole paste --this stand had about six different varieties, all homemade.

                      3. My Mexican aunt used to make a tortilla casserole with mole. little sauce(mixed with broth) on the dish's bottom, layer tortilla, layer boiled potatoes chopped small and she smooshed them a little onto the tortilla, poured mole on, another later, then another If you want 3 layers. She baked it at 350 around a half hour. EXCELLENT!!!

                        1. To make traditional mole,
                          Place the entire contents of the mola jar into a blender. Add about a teaspoon of garlic powder and your desired amount of ground pepper. also add 3 to 4 teaspoons of smooth peanut butter.Add about 2 and a half to 3 cups of lukewarm water to the blender and blend until contents are mixed. Add raw chicken to a pot and then pour the blended contents over. Boil on medium high for about 20 minutes or until you think the chicken is completely cooked depending on whether you're using breast or thighs.Be sure to stir often because the sauce will thicken and dry on the bottom. If your heat is too high it will thicken very fast - do not be afraid to add extra water. Then your mole is done