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Chicken Mole Torta (Mexican Chicken Sloppy Joes)


Mole (Mo-Lay) sauce is something very unique, and there are countless versions of how it’s made. It’s a recipe that Latin American families take pride in, and many are family heirloom recipes.Mole sauce is a rich and spicy sauce that that is an alchemy of different flavors—tomatoes, garlic, raisins, almonds, sesame seeds, and chocolate to name a few. This recipe is slightly adapted from Food Network’s“Jeff Mauro”and I have to say—it’s five stars all the way. Just the tomatillo sauce was so good, that I have created that as a separate stand-alone recipe. There’s a bit of prep time involved, but the end result is worth it. I’ve serve this on brown rice instead of a sandwich and we loved it that way, too.

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  • Chicken Mole:
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable) oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • Sandwich Build:
  • One 16-ounce can refried beans (with chorizo if available)*
  • 4 fresh bolillo rolls, warmed (Note, I made my own or any kind of sturdy sandwich rolls will work)
  • 2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Tomatillo Salsa, recipe follows
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • NOTE: I made my own mash black beans
  • Tomatillo Salsa: (don't skip this, or buy bottled if you wish)
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into thirds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime


Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 75mins
Adapted from


Step 1

For the chicken mole: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho chiles and bake for 5 minutes. When cool, roughly chop and set aside.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the onions, a couple pinches of salt and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved ancho chiles and minced chipotle. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, almond butter, raisins and sesame seeds. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Place the mole into a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute (I used an immersion blender right in the Dutch oven).

Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the mole back to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper.

Lay the chicken in the sauce in one layer, making sure each breast is entirely coated, and gently simmer, flipping once during cooking, until the breasts register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside off the heat and let rest.

Using your hands, remove the skin and meat from the bones and discard. Shred the chicken into smaller chunks and place back into the mole to keep warm. Season if necessary.

For the tomatillo sauce (highly recommend, and can be used for so many other recipes as a stand-alone recipe)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the stem, ribs and seeds from the jalapeno (or keep them in if you want it hot).

Toss the tomatillos, garlic, pepper and onions with the olive oil and place evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until the tomatillos and onions are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. If necessary, remove the garlic sooner to avoid scorching.

Add roasted vegetables, fresh cilantro and lime juice into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and transfer to a bowl.

For the sandwich build:

Heat the refried beans in the microwave until warm.
NOTE: I don’t like canned refried beans, so I empty a can of organic black (or pinto) beans with the liquid into a skillet on medium high. Cook, until the liquid has reduced and mash. Season to your liking and serve.

Spread the beans on the bottom of the bolillo rolls. Place the chicken on top of the beans with a little extra mole.

Place some queso fresco on top of the chicken, slather the top bun with sour cream and adhere the lettuce.

Top with the pickled jalapenos and cilantro and drizzle with the Tomatillo Salsa. Close, cut sharply on the bias and serve with fresh lime wedges.

Serve with plenty of napkins

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