Karl’s Chicken Molé Chili

When I go to all of the effort to make molé, it is such a production that I always make enough for more than one meal. When the meal is done, I package up 3 or 4 quart bags of the sauce ready to add to a quick weekday meal. Jan asked for chicken molé for dinner one day this week.

Karl’s Chicken Molé Chili

Karl’s Chicken Molé Chili

My usual meal plan for this dish is the chicken in the sauce with beans and rice on the side. Rice and beans are two more dishes that it is difficult to make “just a little.” Jan is restricting her starch and this would leave me with mounds of leftover beans and rice.

Since I do not need all of those carbs either, I decided to turn the chicken molé into chicken molé chili by adding beans. I would also pack as many vegetables into it as I could, to make Jan happy. And, since it is a week day meal, I will use canned beans and tomatoes rather than starting from scratch.

After Dinner Note: When she saw the meal, my daughter Eilene instantly went, “Where’s the rice?!” She added some leftover jeweled rice to her chili. She also wanted corn chips to go with her chili. So much for my attempt at lo-carbs.

Karl’s Chicken Molé Chili


1 medium sweet green pepper
1 medium poblano pepper
1 lb. chicken (breasts and/or thighs)
2 Tbs. corn oil
1 yellow onion, chopped coarsely
2 stalks celery
½ cup cilantro stems, minced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can pinto beans (16 oz., do not drain)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (14.5 oz., do not drain)
1 cups Karl’s Molé Poblano (or commercial mole)
1 dark Mexican beer (optional)

Corn chips or soft tortillas
½ cup raw onion, diced
½ cup tomato, diced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup avocado, diced


1.  Wash the peppers and place them on a lipped baking sheet. Broil them 3-4 inches away from the heating element. Turn them about every five minutes until they are well charred on all sides.

2. When the peppers are blackened on all sides, remove them from the oven and put them in a plastic bag until they are cool enough to handle.

Tip: The plastic bag continues to steam the peppers and makes it easier to remove the tough skins.

3. Skin and seed the peppers and chop them coarsely, reserve.

4. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

5. In a medium pot, brown the chicken in the corn oil over medium high heat. Remove to a plate and reserve.

6. Without cleaning the pot, add the onions and sauté until starting to pick up some color.

7. Add the celery and cilantro to the pot and sauté for three more minutes, until the celery is soft.

8. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute more, until fragrant.

9. Add the reserved peppers, the pinto beans, tomatoes and molé, stir to blend.

Tip: If you do not have molé on hand, pre-made molé is available in most supermarkets.

10. Simmer, stirring to prevent sticking and scorching, for 15 minutes.

11. Add the reserved chicken and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

Tip: If the chili is too thick, or if you prefer a thinner chili, add some dark Mexican beer.

12. Serve corn chips or soft tortillas on the side and provide raw onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado to put on top of the chili as your diners choose.

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Filed under Main Dishes, Poultry

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