Mexican Mole

Serves 4

  • 1 free-range chicken, jointed into small portions
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, roughly sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh mint
  • salt and pepper
  • to finish, coriander, chopped


  • 40g dark, bitter chocolate
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 500g / 2 tins plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3-4 dried chillies, de-seeded and torn


  • ½  large avocado, cubed
  • ½  red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Put the chicken pieces into a pot that will just about accommodate them, cover with water and add the garlic, onion and mint and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming off any grey foam that rises, then turn down the heat, put the lid on and simmer gently for 30 mins or so, until chicken is perfectly tender. Strain, reserving the broth.

Put all the sauce ingredients except the oil and chocolate into a liquidizer and process to a purée. 

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy frying pan, add the purée and bubble up and cook for about 20 mins, until the sauce is rich and thick. Stir in the chocolate and until melted. Add the reserved chicken pieces and bubble up again. Add enough broth to cover the chicken and bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for another ten minutes, adding more broth if necessary. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the chicken. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped coriander. Serve with hot cornmeal tortillas and salsa.

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Recipe by Diane Heierli • Photography C&D Heierli