Quick Chicken “Mole”

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at www.thepastamanblog.com.

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Mark Bittman has a new cookbook out, How to Cook Everything Fast. I actually made one of his pastas, with calamari and tomatoes, on my personal blog and Mark himself read it and linked to me. Pretty cool.

Anyway, this recipe here was perfect for the Bullet: a fast version of one of my favorite Mexican dishes, chicken mole. Mole – if you know of it, you probably think of it as “Mexican savory chocolate sauce” — is famously complex and contains dozens of ingredients, most notably chocolate, so it was interesting to see how Mark streamlined: chocolate, chilies, and black beans in a blender (Bullet). I thought this was a really good weeknight dinner with most of the taste and substance of mole with probably one-tenth the work. Was it really mole sauce? Well, no – predictably, it lacked the depth of flavor from “real” mole. (I suspect it also lacked the substantial amount of lard that is traditional, so I guess that’s for the best.) All in all, though, this was pretty darn good, satisfying a Mexican craving, fast, and pretty healthy to boot.

Per Mark’s instructions, I served this with broiled chicken thighs, which provide a nice crispy skin-crust and cook up in no time. If you’ve forgotten, chicken thighs are probably the tastiest part of the chicken, especially when cooked fast with high heat; they’re small enough to cook evenly and rich enough to stand up to slight overcooking.




Quick Chicken “Mole”

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Fast


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¾ cup almonds or peanuts
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon)


  1. Salt chicken and broil until nicely browned on one side but not totally cooked through, about eight minutes.
  2. In the Magic Bullet, blend beans, chocolate, garlic, chicken broth, and nuts with the spices (cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon), in batches if necessary
  3. Transfer sauce to a large skillet and bring to boil, then lower to a simmer.
  4. Add the chicken, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about twelve minutes.