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Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Mole Negro
© Maura McEvoy

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Mole Negro

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: 4

Oaxaca is famous for its complex mole sauces, often made with more than 20 ingredients, like unsweetened chocolate, seeds and chiles. Since moles are so time-consuming to make, most Mexican cooks rely on the prepared pastes sold at the outdoor markets, and Alejando Ruíz Olmedo is no exception. Instead of stewing chicken in the mole, he takes a more elegant approach: He roasts chicken breasts until the skin is crisp and serves the mole alongside.

  1. 1 cup black mole paste (see Note)
  2. 3 cups chicken stock
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  5. 4 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
  6. Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a saucepan, whisk the mole paste with the stock. Boil the mole sauce over high heat, whisking occasionally, until reduced to 2 cups, 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, 4 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for 20 minutes, until just cooked through. Let the chicken rest in the skillet for 5 minutes, then transfer to plates. Spoon the mole sauce alongside, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.
Notes Black mole paste is available at Latin markets or at mexgrocer.com. Serve With Rice pilaf.

Suggested Pairing

The rich, smoky flavors of mole negro will partner well with red wines that have luscious fruit, like Australian Shirazes or California Zinfandels.