Passport to Flavor: Chicken Mole Tacos

If you follow Ruth’s Table on Instagram you know that I am a HUGE taco fan (my Mom even called me out for taking so many taco pics!).  Every day is Taco Tuesday at my house.  I will wrap just about anything in a corn tortilla and call it a taco.  I should probably talk to someone about that…

I have been on a mission for a very long time to perfect my mole recipe.  I am not an expert and I certainly wouldn’t say this is authentic but it’s as close as I can get to the deep, rich flavor of this sauce with ingredients that are readily available in my grocery store.  It is a labor of love but so worth the effort!

Mole Chicken Tacos
Serves: 4 (plus leftover mole sauce for another day!)
Prep time: 1 ½ hours

Canola oil
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno, seeds removed
3 roma tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
5 dried guajillo peppers
5 dried chile de arbol
½ cup raisins
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup chicken stock
3 corn tortillas, toasted until almost charred
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 block Mexican chocolate

Olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1 Tablespoon Mexican seasoning
1 cup mole
12 corn tortillas
To serve: shredded red cabbage, pickled onions, sliced radishes, cotija cheese, Mexican crema, cilantro, lime wedges

Preheat broiler.

Remove stems and seeds from guajillo and chile de arbol. Place in a large glass bowl with raisins. Cover with hot water and steep for 15 minutes.

Toss onion, jalapeno, roma tomatoes and garlic cloves with a tablespoon of canola oil, salt & pepper. Broil for 10-12 minutes or until everything starts to blister and char. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Add charred veggies to a blender. Drain rehydrated peppers and raisins, reserving 1 cup steeped liquid. Add peppers and raisins to blender. Add chili powder and next 5 ingredients (through tortillas) to blender. Puree until very smooth, about 5 minutes.

Heat ¼ cup canola oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add puree and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium low and add bay leaves, peanut butter and Mexican chocolate. Stir until combined and chocolate is melted. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a little chicken stock if sauce needs thinning. Season with salt & pepper.

For tacos: Season chicken breast with Mexican seasoning, set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove from pan and chop. Add chicken back to pan and add 1 cup of prepared mole*. Stir until combined and hot.

Serve chicken in a corn tortilla topped with cabbage, radishes, crema, pickled onions, cotija, cilantro, and a lime wedge alongside.

*Note: store remaining mole sauce in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to a month. It’s great as a marinade for grilled pork chops or stirred into a hearty beef chili.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2020.

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