Crock Pot Chicken Mole… Simple & Scrumptious

I LOVE mole… love love love.

Most mole fans have probably tried Dona Maria, the pre-made mole-in-a-jar sauce that is actually pretty good for a pre-mixed concoction.  But let’s face it, there’s nothing like homemade.  So when my friend Arsy of Rubies & Radishes (one of my favorite food blogs) and huge inspiration to me (as both foodie and friend) came up with her own version of mole, I simply had to try it.  It’s a simple slow-cooker mole- yumm and easy!  Being that A- everything I’ve eaten that she’s made has been amazing and B- she just came out with her own slow-cooker cookbook, I knew hers would be good.  So I made it, and just as expected, it was oh so good.  If I could virtually applause on this post I totally would {clap clap} ’cause she’s created a keeper here!  Totally recommend it, whether a mole virgin or connoisseur.  :)

Not only is this recipe her genius creation, but she is also to thank for the delicious idea of topping it with sliced jalapenos and avocado.  Love it.

It’s a fact: mole + rice = amazing.  The rice sops up all of the extra sauce and deliciousness left on the plate after devouring the meat.  Even better… serve it with warm tortillas so you can make little wrapped bites of goodness while you eat.

What is mole you ask?  It’s a traditional Mexican sauce- there are a variety of kinds.  In fact, “mole” is an Aztec word for “sauce”.  Some of the most popular ‘moles’ are mole poblano, which hails from Puebla, Mexico and Oaxacan mole, which you guessed it… comes from Oaxaca.  It’s the mole most of us  think of (I assume anyway)… a thick creamy dark chocolate-based sauce commonly added to chicken and poured over tamales and enchiladas.  It has a bunch of ingredients in it and from my understanding, takes hours when done in its traditional form.  Nuts, chocolate, chilies, a plethora of spices, sometimes tortillas, and much more goodness is all thrown in a pot and ground down (in what I always picture to be a witch’s cauldron, though clearly it is not).  It’s a real labor of love, so I hear.  This version, on the other hand, is very very simple.  That’s the beauty of the Crock Pot- everything goes in as large chunks and somehow comes out beautifully tasty and perfectly smooth (if you want to be more traditional though go ahead and blend the ingredients- or crush them by hand if you so dare, but I didn’t have that kind of patience).  So thank you, Arsy- I have been waiting for a very long time to find a good-but-easy mole recipe!  Scored with this one.  :)

This is why this recipe is so great… tasty ingredients, very simple method.

The star ingredient… dark chocolate.  In this recipe, it’s salt and pepper dark chocolate.  As Arsy mentions in her post, any good quality dark chocolate will work, but if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, try to find this stuff- it’s not the best to eat on its own, but is ideal for this!

Not bad stuff in there… I like.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. chicken (I used 2 breasts & 2 thighs- bone-in, skins removed)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tbsp ghee (or butter)

1 medium onion, chopped (2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp)

5 large whole tomatoes, skins removed- see how-to below (or 1 can whole tomatoes)

5 dried New Mexico chilies, chopped

1/4 cup almond butter (unsalted, crunchy or smooth are fine- keep in mind chunky adds a crunch to the finished product)

2.5 ounces dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s salt & pepper chocolate, see photo above)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp guajillo chili powder

1 tsp salt

garnish: avocado, cilantro, & jalapeno slices

optional: serve with rice and warm tortillas

*note: if you prefer (and have the patience) to do this more traditionally, you can put all of the ingredients (minus the chicken, sautéed onion, & garlic) into a food processor and blend them until smooth (or as mentioned above, crush them by hand with a mortar and pestle).  If you are like Arsy & I though, you may feel too tired and lazy after work and simply not want to… in that case, do as done here and just place it all into the Crock Pot as is :)

(I know it’s a lot to read through, but I recommend at least skimming through the intro. of this post before starting the recipe to see info. about ingredients and so forth if you have the time.)

DIRECTIONS

Chop onion and mince garlic

Heat half of the ghee in a large pot over medium heat

Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until becoming soft and translucent

Add minced garlic

Cook for a few more minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned

Dump it all in the Crock Pot (but don’t clean that pot-

that ghee on the bottom of the pot will be perfect for cooking the chicken!)

Speaking of chicken…

If your chicken pieces have skin on them, take it off before cooking

(very easy to pull off- also remove any noticeable fatty areas)

Season both sides of each piece… I usually pre-mix the salt and pepper

in my palm first to get it nice and evenly blended and then sprinkle it all over everything

Add remaining ghee to the pot (with the onion/garlic browning in it still)

Turn heat to high- you want to brown the chicken, so get that pot hot

Place the chicken pieces in the pot, brown for a few minutes,

and then flip and repeat on other sides

When both sides are browned, remove and place chicken in

Crock Pot with onions and garlic

To remove the skin from the tomatoes…  it’s much easier if you boil them first!

Using a knife, slice an X on the top of each tomato

Place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water

for a short time- a minute is more than enough

Then remove tomatoes- skins should come right off with a little tug

Slice tomatoes in half (no need to remove seeds, though you can if you prefer)
Add tomatoes to Crock Pot

Now for the tasty stuff…

Roughly chop the chocolate into pieces

The dried chilies will likely come in a bag like this…

and likely the bag will have just enough for this recipe!

Roughly chop the chilies… yep, just as is

Seeds will be flying- add them to the pot if you want or omit them if you prefer-

they don’t change the favor much other than making it a tad more spicy

 (I kept them in since I like spice)

Add the chocolate and chilies to the Crock Pot

Top with almond butter

Add cumin, cinnamon, guajillo chili powder, and salt

And that’s it… now stir it all together until pretty mixed up

(doesn’t have to be perfect- it will all blend while it cooks)

Cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked through and tender

As soon as you touch the chicken, it should

fall apart on the spot… the beauty of slow cooking!

Remove all bones- no one likes biting into bones!

If you prefer, you can take out any large

pieces of pepper, too- I personally don’t mind them

Now get garnishes ready…

Thinly slice the jalapeno pepper

And slice avocado up!

Serve up some cooked rice and top with chicken

Garnish with avocado, jalapeno slices, and cilantro

Serve with warm tortillas if you’d like and enjoy!!

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About Me
Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!
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