This mole by chef Ofelia Barajas at La Guerrera’s Kitchen in Oakland is inspired by her grandmother Jovita Vargas’ recipe from her restaurant in Guerrero, Mexico. It's rich, warm, and well balanced, with a variety of chiles adding layers of heat, fruitiness, sweetness, and smokiness. As you fry the individual ingredients, Barajas recommends smelling and tasting each one, including the chiles, to create a connection with each—and to learn how to build the flavors that make a great mole. The payoff is a luscious and complex sauce that drapes over tender chicken. Serve with fresh tortillas to swipe up every drop of sauce.
Chicken mole can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.
Find dried chiles, bolillo, and Mexican chocolate at Latin grocery stores or online.