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The Savory Side of Chocolate, Part Two: Oaxacan Chicken Mole Recipe

This month, we here at Fit Bottomed Eats are celebrating all things chocolate. From melt-in-your-mouth truffles to an unusual chocolaty vinaigrette, we’ve yet to meet a chocolate recipe we didn’t like!
Our quest for savory chocolate recipes continues with Oaxacan Chicken Mole, a regional dish from Mexico. Mole, pronounced MOH/leh, is basically a spicy, dark brown sauce served over rice and meat. There are a gazillion variations, but all of them contain chilies or chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and unweetened chocolate.
Chocolate tames the heat of the chili peppers, gives the dish a rich brown color and adds creaminess to the sauce. This easy-to-follow version, popular in Oaxacan, Mexico, was originally posted in Bon Appetit circa 1993.

Oaxacan Chicken Mole Recipe

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
7 teaspoons chili powder, divided (yep, 7!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes with juices
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1. Season the chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons of the chili powder. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

browned chicken

3. Add the remaining chili powder, cumin and cinnamon to the oil and juices still in the pan and sauté for 15 seconds.

spices in sauce

Wow, that’s a lot of spice!

4. Stir in the tomatoes and juice along with the chocolate and simmer for five minutes.
chocolate and tomato

I usually food process my tomatoes for a smooth sauce, but the choice is yours.

tomatoes and chocolate

Chocolate and tomatoes — this just seems wrong! But it’s not!

5. Return the chicken and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back into the Dutch oven. Simmer on low for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve it over rice or quinoa, or shred the chicken and wrap it up in a corn tortilla. We promise it’s not too spicy!


More chocolate is on its way — and of the sweet variety! Stay tuned for next week when we do our first Sweet Tooth Week full of all things healthy and sweet! —Karen

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