Oaxacan Dark Chocolate Sauce with Chicken (Mole Negro de Pollo)

Mole Negro is the crowning achievement Oaxaca. It is also the most complex and difficult to make. Family recipe are handed down generations and are often kept secret. Luckily, ready-made mole pastes are easily available online, with some of the best ones coming directly from Oaxaca City and Southern California.

Mexican Oaxacan chicken mole

Mole Negro de Pollo- Oaxacan Chicken with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Mole Negro is known for its inclusion of Mexican chocolate. With 30+ ingredients, this is far from a "chocolate sauce", but rather a complex ancient masterpiece of Oaxacan cuisine. Using premade paste, this recipe is easy to make, interesting, and delicious. The mole can be frozen and used in many dishes, including the amazing Tamales de Guajolote con mole negro.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican, Oaxacan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large heavy skillet
  • Large pot with cover


  • 8 large Bone-in chicken thighs or 4 full chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp Powdered garlic
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 16 oz Mole negro paste
  • 15 oz Canned tomato sauce
  • 32 oz Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Sesame seeds


  • Season chicken pieces well with half the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add chicken skin-side down and cook undisturbed until browned, about 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about another 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Heat a pot over medium heat. Pour off excess fat from the skillet and add tomato sauce. Deglaze the skillet by stirring up bits from bottom. Pour tomato sauce into the pot and add mole paste, stirring until it is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add broth and season with remaining salt and brown sugar. Whisk until sauce has thickened a bit, about 7 minutes.
  • Add chicken and it juices to the mole, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes to finish cooking the chicken. Taste and adjust seasonings. Plate 1-2 piece with sauce, garnish with parsley and sesame seeds. Serve hot with a side of rice.


  • Mole negro (without the chicken) may be refrigerated for a few weeks or frozen indefinitely.


Calories: 645kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 880mg | Potassium: 1000mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 571IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3mg

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