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Mama Rosa's Marvelous Chicken in Mole

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“This was my children's Mexican great-grandmother's recipe for mole. She never measured the ingredients so as I watched her make it I had to estimate. For reasons that were never clear to me, I never tried to make it until over a decade after she passed away. I've got it very close to hers but will probably keep tweaking it. I could just ask my children's grandmother but somehow that doesn't seem right - then it would be her recipe and not Mama Rosa's. I know, it doesn't make sense - but somehow it feels right.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. NOTE: Mexican chocolate is very unlike American forms of chocolate, looking like baking chocolate but sweetened, grainy and brittle. It is used to make hot chocolate. If you can't find it, substitute 2 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate.
  2. NOTE: Mama Rosa always used chicken parts with skin and bones which no doubt added flavor to the sauce. However, we prefer boneless and skinless chicken breasts that really soak up the sauce.
  3. Toast the first six ingredients in a dry skillet until just browned/smokey.
  4. In a large shallow fry pan, fry the poblano and negro chiles in just enough oil to coat the pan until the chiles are pliant and the skins begin to blister.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pan to cool until it is safe to add liquid (trust me, if it's too hot it's a burn hazard!), then add just enough chicken broth to cover.
  6. Soak the chiles until they are soft, keeping the broth hot but not boiling. This doesn't require constant heat, just occasional to keep the temperature up. They will soften just as well in cold broth, it just takes a lot longer.
  7. Chop the next four ingredients (tomato, tomatillos, onion and garlic) and saute in a small amount of oil over medium heat until cooked through but not browned.
  8. While the vegetables are cooking, put the soaked chiles in a blender, adding just enough of the soaking broth to process and blend until smooth.
  9. Add the tomato mixture and toasted seeds, adding just enough broth to process and blend until smooth.
  10. Add chocolate, adding just enough broth to process and blend until smooth.
  11. Strain the mixture and set aside.
  12. Coat the bottom of a fry pan with oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides.
  13. Lower the heat and add enough of the mole to cover the chicken only about half way. Cover the pan and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until cooked through.
  14. Serve with rice pilaf, such as recipe #395219 - Oft Requested Rice Pilaf.

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