Mole Negro

by Pilar Cabrera

Pilar Cabrera, executive chef and owner of Restaurante La Olla and La Casa de Los Sabores Cooking School, has competed internationally at the request of the Government of Mexico.


  • 4 chilhuacle chiles
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 mulato chiles
  • ⅛ t anise
  • 8 pasilla mexicano chiles
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 T lard
  • ⅛ t cumin
  • ¼ C almonds
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • ¼ C raisins
  • 2 plantains
  • ¼ C pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tomato, roasted
  • ¼ C pecans
  • 3 tomatillos, roasted
  • ¼ C peanuts with skins
  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 4 slices of egg bread (semisweet), torn in pieces
  • ½ medium onion, roasted
  • ¼ C sesame seeds
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1/8 t dried thyme
  • 8 pieces boiled chicken
  • 1/8 t dried marjoram
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/8 t dried oregano
  • ½ C Oaxacan chocolate
  • 4 avocado leaves                                                                                                        Salt to taste


  1. Clean dried chiles with a damp cloth. Open chiles by making a lengthwise slit down one side of each. Remove seeds, veins and stems. Reserve seeds.
  2. Heat 3 T lard in a saucepan, and then fry chiles. Remove chiles as soon as they begin to change color and become crispy, and place in a bowl lined with paper towel.
  3. In another pan, heat remaining lard and fry raisins until they puff up and brown a bit. Remove raisins to a second bowl.
  4. Fry almonds, pecans and peanuts in the raisin pan until dark brown (about 5 minutes). Remove from pan and add to raisin bowl.
  5. Fry pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, anise, cloves, cumin and peppercorns in the same pan, until a dark brown. Remove and add to raisin bowl.
  6. Fry dried bread pieces in the same pan for 2 min; then remove and add to raisin bowl.
  7. Fry plantains in oil until golden and set aside.
  8. Blend the contents of the raisin bowl, the tomatoes, 1 fried plantain and 1 C of chicken broth until smooth. Pour into large bowl and set aside.
  9. Blend fried chiles and 1½ C chicken broth until a smooth paste.
  10. Pour remaining lard from frying pan used raisins and other ingredients into a deep pot, heat, and then add blended chiles. Cook 3 min; then add spice mixture and cook for 3 more min. Add sugar and chocolate, and stir for 5 min. The sauce is ready when, while being stirred, the fat rises to the top of the mixture.
  11. Add remaining chicken broth, avocado leaves, and salt to taste and cook for 3 more min over medium heat. Add chicken pieces before serving, garnish with remaining plantain, sliced.

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