Since publishing our Beginning Sous Vide book many people have commented on the Sous Vide Chicken Mole recipe. I thought I'd reproduce it here so people can get a taste of the more complicated recipes we have in the book. While the book has a focus on simple and easy to make sous vide recipes we also wanted to make sure there were a number of more complex recipes.
Mole is one of my favorite sauces, especially when done right. This is a more traditional preparation than the more mild and sweet versions found at chain restaurants. This sous vide chicken mole takes advantage of the different chile flavors and is very bold and full flavored.
This mole is best served with some kind of rice or bread to soak up the wonderful sauce. It is also very good with sous vide chicken thighs whose richness stands up well to the bold flavors. Just increase the temperature to 148°F and cook for 2 to 5 hours. Sous vide pork shoulder can also be used in the recipe. You can also use this sous vide mole sauce on a Mexican pizza instead of tomato sauce.
Ingredients for Sous Vide Chicken Mole
- 8 chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 8 assorted medium-heat dried chile peppers such as ancho, mulato, and pasilla
- 1 to 2 dried chipotle chilies
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 plum or roma tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon aniseed or fennel seed
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1.5 ounces golden raisins
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 ounces dark or unsweetened chocolate
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
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Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Chicken Mole
At least 13 to 24 hours before serving
Preheat the water bath to 141°F (60.5°C).
Salt and pepper the chicken breasts then seal in the sous vide pouches. Place in the water bath and cook for 2 to 4 hours.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
You can make the mole sauce while the sous vide chicken is cooking or make it up to a week ahead of time and refrigerate it.
Roast the chilies for 2 minutes per side in a dry pan over medium-high heat until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
On a sheet pan with sides roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in an oven set at 400°F until the onions soften, 10 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add the almonds, sesame seeds, peppercorns, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and aniseed to a pan and toast over medium heat until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool add them to a spice grinder or food processor. Process to a fine powder.
Cut the roasted chilies in half and remove the seeds and stems. Put them in enough hot water to cover them. After 30 minutes drain them.
In a food processor place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilies, ground spices, cilantro, and raisins. Process until it becomes a smooth paste, adding water if it is too thick.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan with high sides over medium heat. Add the puree from the food processor and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the chicken stock, chocolate, honey, vinegar, and salt and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally until it becomes thick but still pourable.
Any excess mole will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
If the mole was made ahead of time then reheat it in a deep pan, otherwise, continue from the steps above.
Take the chicken from the sous vide pouches and add to the mole sauce. Toss to coat well.
Place a sous vide chicken breast on a plate and spoon mole sauce on top. It's best when the sous vide chicken mole is served over rice or with tortilla shells.