Chicken Mole Drumsticks

  • Active Time 50m
  • Total Time 1h 35m

Serves 6

Although the extravagantly spiced, sometimes chocolate enriched sauces known as moles can be quite complicated, everyone raves about their depth of flavor. This simplified recipe takes only an hour or so to make, but you may still want to cook up a double batch and freeze half. Serve with plenty of white rice.


  • 5 dried mulato chili peppers
  • 3 dried pasilla chili peppers
  • 2 dried ancho chili peppers
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 12 large chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons skinless peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 4 tomatillos, husked, peeled and chopped
  • 1 corn tortilla, lightly toasted over an open flame, broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon aniseeds
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges

Companion recipe: Easy Corn Tortillas


Stem, core, seed and derib all the chilies. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, toast the chilies, turning once, until fragrant and the skins begin to blister, 3-5 minutes. Transfer the chilies to a heatproof bowl, add the boiling water and let stand until cool. Working in batches, transfer the cooled chilies and their soaking water to a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Set the purée and the blender aside. Wipe the pot clean.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place the pot over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the drumsticks and brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the drumsticks to a serving dish and keep warm. Add the onion to the same pot and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add the peanuts and raisins and continue to sauté for 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatillos and tortilla and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the aniseeds and coriander seeds until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or a mortar, add the clove and peppercorns and grind or pulverize until coarsely crushed.

In the same small, dry pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring often, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add half of the seeds to the blender and reserve half for garnish. Add the reserved sautéed vegetables (do not wash the pot), ground spices and chicken stock to the blender. Purée until smooth.

Add the puréed chilies to the same large pot used to sauté the vegetables. Cook over low heat, stirring often in the fat remaining in the pot, until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Add the puréed vegetables and chocolate and season to taste with salt. Stir well. Add the chicken pieces, cover and simmer gently over low heat until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Serve the drumsticks generously topped with the sauce. Sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds and garnish with lime wedges.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2298

nutrition information per serving

445 calories; 23g total fat; 127mg cholesterol; 207mg sodium; 22g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 41g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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