Grilled Chicken Mole

Grilled Chicken Mole

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Servings: 6


Brine and Chicken

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks about 6 of each

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mole Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 dried ancho chiles rehydrated
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo with 1 tablespoon of the liquid
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Steamed white rice for serving


For the brine and chicken

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water, the salt, sugar, garlic and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  • Once boiling, remove from the heat and add 3 cups ice.
  • Once the liquid is cool, pour into a freezer bag.
  • Add the chicken to the brine, making sure it is completely submerged.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the dry rub

  • Combine the ancho chile powder, granulated garlic, salt, cumin, onion powder, cinnamon and black pepper together and toast in a dry pan until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry.
  • Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with the dry rub, massaging the spices into the meat and ensuring that all sides are completely coated.
  • Return to the refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.
  • For the mole sauce: In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the canola oil and onions and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, chocolate, almonds, cinnamon, cumin, ancho chiles and chipotles with their liquid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add in the chicken stock and puree until smooth.
  • Add the currants and process again.
  • Set half of the sauce aside for serving and reserve the other half for basting the chicken.
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes per side.
  • Using a silicone pastry brush, baste with the mole sauce for the final 5 to 8 minutes of cooking time.
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.
  • Serve with steamed white rice and extra mole sauce slathered over the top.
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