a microwave version of mole poblano

Mole Poblano (pronounced MOE-lay puh-BLAH-no) is the kind of Mexican cooking one doesn't often find in restaurants outside of Mexico. It consists of chicken in a dark, spicy sauce full of nuts and sesame seeds. All of the traditional mole recipes I've seen require several hours of preparation and cooking time, so I developed this version for those of us who have only limited time for cooking. It takes about an hour to put together.


(serves four)


  1. Put the onion, garlic, and margarine in a large (3-quart) microwavable, covered casserole. Cover and microwave on half power for 2-3 minutes, or until butter is melted and the onion is starting to soften.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate and the chicken. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring after half the time. When the sauce is done, stir in the chocolate until it's melted.
  3. Add the chicken, coating each piece with sauce. Microwave covered, on high power for about 30 minutes. Rearrange the pieces twice during cooking so it cooks evenly. The chicken is done when it starts to fall away from the bone.


My microwave puts out 650 watts on high power and has a turntable in it. You'll probably have to stir things more often if yours doesn't have a turntable. If your microwave is rated at less than 600 watts, it's probably too small to fit the chicken in anyway.

Use pure ground chile, not "chile powder" (which usually contains other ingredients). The stuff I use comes in little plastic bags, and they keep it in the Mexican food section of the store instead of the spice section. The hotness of the chile can vary considerably, so the most reliable procedure is to mix in a little at a time, tasting the sauce as you go along. Mole is supposed to be spicy, not scorchingly hot; a blend of mild chiles gives the best flavor. I usually use about 2 Tbsp mild Pasilla chile and another 2 Tbsp medium hot California chile.

Mexican chocolate comes in round tablets about 3 inches in diameter. If you can't find any in the grocery store, use a piece of a dark chocolate candy bar (or semi-sweet chocolate chips) instead, and add an additional 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

You can substitute pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, or raisins for all or part of the almonds.

In theory, you can cook this on top of the stove in a Dutch oven in the traditional style, although I've never tried it myself. Judging by the recipes I've seen, you should simmer the chicken in water for about an hour first, then make the sauce and cook the chicken in the sauce for another half hour.


Difficulty: easy to moderate.
Time: 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking.
Precision: Approximate measurement OK.


Sandra Loosemore 
Evans and Sutherland Computer Company, Salt Lake City Utah 
Recipe last modified: 4 Apr 86

Original header

Path: decwrl!recipes
From: loosemor@esunix (Sandra Loosemore)
Newsgroups: mod.recipes
Subject: RECIPE: Chicken mole
Message-ID: <3727@decwrl.DEC.COM>
Date: 20 Jun 86 03:34:24 GMT
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Organization: Evans and Sutherland Co., Salt Lake City Utah
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