Mole Coloradito—Reddish-colored Oaxacan Mole

Yields 8 portions


  • 10 ancho chiles, wiped clean, seeds and veins removed
  • 2 guajillo chiles, wiped clean, seeds and veins removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion, divided use
  • 1/4 cup/59 mL canola oil or lard, divided use
  • 2 oz/57 g day old baguette
  • ½ cup/118 mL sesame seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp/1.5 g dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp/1 g dried Oaxacan or Mediterranean oregano
  • 1 2-in/5-cm piece canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  • 2 1/2 quartst/2.4 L water
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups/473 mL chicken broth, or as needed
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Cooked white rice, as needed
  • Corn tortillas, as needed


  1. Toast the chiles on a comal set over medium heat until the skin begins to blister and turn a tobacco color, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add the garlic to the comal and toast, removing from the heat when the papery skin begins to brown. Discard the skin and return the garlic to the comal. Roast until the garlic is blackened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and half of the onion to the comal and dry roast over medium heat. Turn until the items are blistered and soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp/30 mL of the oil or lard in a medium frying pan and sauté the bread until golden brown. Add the sesame seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, marjoram, oregano, and canela, and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. In a large rondeau, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the remaining onion and peeled garlic, and season with salt, to taste. Add the chicken and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, purée the chiles in a blender, adding water as needed to form a smooth paste. Press the paste through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  6. In the same blender, purée the dry-roasted vegetables and spices, adding water as needed to form a smooth purée. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.
  7. Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven or rondeau over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and fry the chile purée until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the puréed tomato mixture. Simmer the mole until it coats the back of a wooden spoon and you can see the bottom of the pan when scraped, about 40 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken broth to the mole and season with salt and sugar, to taste.
  10. Add the cooked chicken to the simmering mole and cook over medium heat until warmed through.
  11. Serve the mole with white rice and warm corn tortillas.

Chef’s Note

Mole Coloradito will keep for up to two weeks, refrigerated, but must be re-heated and diluted with water (to prevent saltiness) every three days. It will keep for up to two months frozen.
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