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Chicken in Oaxacan Black Mole
(Pollo en Mole Negro)



  • 3 small dried pasilla chiles
  • 3 small dried mulatto chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) piece stick cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole aniseed
  • 1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup whole unblanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 6 whole chicken legs, with thighs attached
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth


  1. Toast, seed, de-vein and rinse pasilla and mulatto chiles. Place in medium bowl with boiling water; let stand 1 hour.
  2. Toast sesame seeds in dry heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet.
  3. Combine cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and aniseeds in skillet; toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they start to change color and become fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from skillet.
  4. Heat lard in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add almonds; cook and stir until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper toweling. Add raisins; cook and stir until puffed, about 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon.
  5. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Cook in lard over medium heat until brown, about 5 minutes per side; remove to plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons lard from skillet.
  6. Process raisins in blender until finely ground. Coarsely chop almonds; add to blender and process until finely ground. Add onion and garlic to blender; process until finely ground.
  7. Process 2 tablespoons sesame seeds by pulsing in electric spice grinder to fine powder; add to blender. Process clove mixture in grinder to fine powder; add to blender. Add chiles, 1/3 cup of the soaking water and the tomato paste to blender; process until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add just as much remaining soaking water, 1 teaspoon at a time, needed to release blender blades.
  8. Heat the lard in skillet over medium heat until hot; reduce heat to medium-low. Add chile mixture; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Add chocolate; cook and stir until melted, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in stock; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minute.
  9. Add chicken to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes.
  10. Place chicken on serving plates; top with sauce and remaining sesame seeds. Garnish with tomato wedges and cilantro sprigs.


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