Chicken made with Pumpkin Seeds and Popcorn begins with a divine nut and chile based paste that really is a simple mole. If you have never had mole before this is a great introduction to this classic Mexican dish.
Chicken mole is the perfect fall dish. Cooked with nuts and spices, this earthy dish, with its succulent and savory sauce doesn’t take hours to make.
No, this isn’t the thick and rich chocolate sauce that is found in many Mexican restaurants. This mole sauce is lighter and though it has a touch of cocoa, it is quite different than that other mole sauce.
Mole is considered a traditional sauce and marinade in Mexico. There are countless varieties. Some are green. Some are fruity. Some are a rich brown color. And some are black. Yes, mole is almost whatever you want it it to be.
Except! Most moles contain a fruit, a nut, chile peppers and an assortment of spices. This mole doesn’t contain a fruit, though a bit of pumpkin stirred in would be marvelous, too.
Chicken is what is used in this dish, though turkey is very traditional also.
To make this mole, it is as simple as toasting almonds and pumpkin seeds. Add those to the spices and chiles and combine them in a food processor until finely ground.
Now sear the chicken, remove it from the skillet, and time to make the savory sauce. Chicken broth and an onion create the liquid in the mole.
From there it’s a matter of stirring in the nut paste and simmering it with the chicken broth. The ground nuts help thicken this mole.
After this thickens just a bit, no more than 5 to 10 minutes, it’s time to add back the browned chicken to make this simple chicken mole.
Can’t get much easier than this comforting one skillet dish that can also be easily reheated if cooked ahead.
Grilling weather is quickly coming to a close in Colorado which means moving my cooking back inside where the range is the big attraction.
This pumpkin seed mole sure does remind me that Fall is in the air. With the added, but subtle heat of cumin and chilies, this mole sauce perfect for cooling temps.
What to serve with this delicious mole chicken?
In fact this made so much gravy that I could have also added in some potatoes or pumpkin to simmer. However, I chose rice to serve this over instead.
Try this mole and let me know what you think. It certainly pleased Manservant and our neighbor friend.
Manservant said it reminded him of a roux based sauce but like I said, mole is thickened with nuts and not flour.
It is soothing and comforting and some might even think it’s creamy, but no cream in this. Just some wholesome ingredients that manage to make ordinary chicken extraordinary.
Need a Few More?
Please Pin and Share:
1/2 c slivered almonds
1/4 c hulled pumpkin seeds
3/4 t ground cumin
1 c popped popcorn
2 garlic cloves
4 fresh jalapenos or serranos
1 t salt
1 t ancho chile powder
1 t cocoa
1 t ground coriander
1 t black pepper
1 sliced medium sized onion
3 c chicken broth
4 bone in chicken breasts with skin or 8 bone in thighs with skin
3 T sunflower oil
Toast almonds in a dry skillet over low heat, shaking until golden. Add pumpkin seeds and toast for a few minutes but don’t burn.
Place nuts and seeds in a food processor with popcorn, garlic, chilies, salt, chile powder, cocoa, coriander and pepper. Grind to a fine textured paste.
In skillet, heat 3 T sunflower oil over medium high heat. Add chicken that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown chicken and remove from skillet.
Add sliced onion to pan with chicken broth. Heat to boiling and slowly whisk in nut paste to make a gravy styled sauce. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened and reduced. Whisk from time to time so that the nut paste does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add chicken pieces back to pan and simmer over low heat for 20-40 minutes until cooked.
To reheat: I left this in the skillet, covered it with foil and refrigerated it. Then I brought this back to room temperature, and reheated it covered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until gravy was bubbly. If you do want to reheat it, err on the side of chicken being a touch under cooked when you remove it from the stove top.
Notes: To make popcorn, take 1/4 c popcorn kernels, place them in a brown paper lunch bag with the top rolled down twice. Then place in the microwave for 2 :30 minutes on high. My popcorn popped just fine and I had leftovers to eat as I cooked!
Keywords: chicken mole, chicken with mole, chicken mole recipe, mole sauce