By Estela Caballero
First, no moles (rodent kind) were used in the making of this chicken mole. No moles, that I know of, are used in the making of any mole. Just wanted to clear that up so you don’t spend valuable time trying to spot chunks of chopped up mole in these pictures. For anyone wanting mole that calls for real mole– hey, who am I to judge– just look up a recipe for mole and substitute chicken with mole, badger or any other kind of meat you fancy.
Chicken Mole is a common Mexican dish. The mole refers to the thick sauce the meat, usually chicken, is swimming in after it’s cooked. The chicken is fully cooked before being put into the mole sauce.
You can buy mole sauce in a tall glass jar in the grocery aisle that stocks most other Mexican food– or you can make it from scratch. The ingredients above are part of what went into the beautiful mole sauce my mother in law made for us. She combined that with ingredients from image below. I had no idea fried corn tortillas were part of the mix.
Oaxaca and Puebla are most often credited with oldest and best mole recipes in Mexico. If you taste a deep dry chocolate flavor in some mole, it is probably in the recipe. Peanuts are a staple in making mole sauce. The sauces I’ve tasted have a smoky soft chile flavor.
My father’s side of the family is from Aguascalientes, a small state in Mexico with beauty, industry and agriculture. No claim to the roots of mole.
My husband’s side of the family is from Michoacan. A state of beauty and strength. Michoacan has rich history, culture and is presently reclaiming it’s future. While it may not have claim to the roots of mole, it’s getting a run for it’s money with my suegra’s version of their famous platillo.
We usually eat mole with a side of Mexican rice. Sometimes we sprinkle queso fresco or queso cotija, different kinds of cheese, usually grated, over the mole and rice. Dress up your plate as much as you want. My mother in law is an artist with a plate and sides. Finely sculpted wedges of avocado will stand at whatever attention she commands. She will frequently wake up before any real early birds and chop fresh vegetables destined for a jar of water and vinegar to soften them up and flavor them for fresh chiles in vinegar.
I’m a messy eater and a C+ cook. I don’t dare try to recount the careful pasos de mi suegrita (steps of my mother in law) or the recipe. I’m trying to convince her to let me record her and post to share with the world. Not there yet! She’s amazing and has agreed to take any questions from the WordPress familia. She was in amazement that her fine embroidery had drawn attention from all around the world. I showed her the stats page on my behind the scenes blog pages. I told her that each number by the flag represented someone who had seen her work. She was in disbelief. This humble woman who lives to serve had never imagined she would live to see the day her work was admired outside the small town in Michoacan where she lived, loved and toiled.