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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

1 hour 10 minutes

Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

Free

When we think of mole, we most often think of mahogany-colored mole negro. But as we learned in Oaxaca, there is a wide variety of moles, each with a unique character. Mole verde—or green mole—is traditionally made with pork and gets its bright, fresh flavor from a blend of fresh chilies, tomatillos and herbs. For our version, we opted for quicker-cooking but equally tasty chicken thighs, and we sought out supermarket substitutes for hard-to-find epazote and hoja santa, two herbs that are standard mole verde ingredients in Mexico (we mimicked their flavors with mint and fennel seeds). Oaxacans thicken this stew-like soup with masa, the corn dough used to make tortillas and tamales. For ease, we opted to use what we were taught is the second best option: corn tortillas softened in liquid then blended until smooth.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
7 6-inch corn tortillas
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 medium tomatillos, husked and halved
1 poblano chili, stemmed, seeded and quartered lengthwise
1 small white onion, root end intact, quartered lengthwise
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems
1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 ounces small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 to 1½ inches in diameter), halved
6 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
Ingredients
  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 7

    6-inch corn tortillas

  • 1

    quart low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2

    medium tomatillos, husked and halved

  • 1

    poblano chili, stemmed, seeded and quartered lengthwise

  • 1

    small white onion, root end intact, quartered lengthwise

  • 1

    bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • cup loosely packed fresh mint

  • 1

    teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1

    teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 8

    ounces small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 to 1½ inches in diameter), halved

  • 6

    ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1

    medium yellow zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)

Directions
  1. 01
    Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high, combine the tortillas and broth, then bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortillas (they will have softened) to a blender, add ¼ cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the puree into the boiling broth and stir to combine; rinse out the blender and reserve. Add the chicken to the pot, cover and reduce to low. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets just a little resistance, 30 to 35 minutes.
    See Demo
    02 01 19 Cpk 344
  2. 02
    Meanwhile, heat the broiler with a rack about 4 inches from the element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the garlic, tomatillos, poblano chili and onion in an even layer on the baking sheet. Broil until the vegetables are lightly charred, about 4 minutes, then flip them and continue to broil until the second sides are lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender.
    See Demo
    02 01 19 Cpk 366
  3. 03
    Add ½ cup water to the blend, then puree until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, fennel, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth and bright green, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. You should have about 2 cups of puree; set aside.
    See Demo
    02 01 19 Cpk 381
  4. 04
    When the chicken is ready, stir the potatoes, green beans and zucchini into the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the skewer inserted into a potato meets no resistance, about 15 minutes. Stir in the puree, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
    See Demo
    Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken
Tip: Don't brown the vegetables too darkly under the broiler. Light charring provides complexity, but too much will muddle the fresh herbal notes.
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Comments
  • Patrick N.

    I'm not sure if I am missing something but I will ask. Why use the corn tortillas? Masa is not hard to get.

    0 votes
    1 comments
    • Janelle C.

      Hi Patrick,

      To answer your question, corn tortillas would be easier to source than masa as noted in the recipe description.

      Best,
      The Milk Street Team

      0 votes
      0 comments
  • Gary B.

    My old blender is no match for the one used on the TV show, so I used my average-sized food processor. It took additional effort and patience, but the dish turned out well. I'll make this dish again and again.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Kimberly N.

    If we wanted to substitute masa for the corn tortillas, how much and when do you add it? How much broth or liquid do you still want to include?

    0 votes
    0 comments
Down arrow

Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

1 hour 10 minutes

Tip

Don't brown the vegetables too darkly under the broiler. Light charring provides complexity, but too much will muddle the fresh herbal notes.

Ingredients
  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 7

    6-inch corn tortillas

  • 1

    quart low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2

    medium tomatillos, husked and halved

  • 1

    poblano chili, stemmed, seeded and quartered lengthwise

  • 1

    small white onion, root end intact, quartered lengthwise

  • 1

    bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • cup loosely packed fresh mint

  • 1

    teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1

    teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 8

    ounces small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 to 1½ inches in diameter), halved

  • 6

    ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1

    medium yellow zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)

Step 1 of 4

Cook the chicken

2
pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
7
6-inch corn tortillas
1
quart low-sodium chicken broth

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.


In a large pot over medium-high, combine the tortillas and broth, then bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortillas (they will have softened) to a blender, add ¼ cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.


Pour the puree into the boiling broth and stir to combine; rinse out the blender and reserve.


Add the chicken to the pot, cover and reduce to low. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets just a little resistance, 30 to 35 minutes.

Step 2 of 4

Broil the vegetables

4
medium garlic cloves, peeled
2
medium tomatillos, husked and halved
1
poblano chili, stemmed, seeded and quartered lengthwise
1
small white onion, root end intact, quartered lengthwise

Meanwhile, heat the broiler with a rack about 4 inches from the element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.


Arrange the garlic, tomatillos, poblano chili and onion in an even layer on the baking sheet. Broil until the vegetables are lightly charred, about 4 minutes, then flip them and continue to broil until the second sides are lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes.


Let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender.

Step 3 of 4

Puree the blend

1
bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems
1
cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
cup loosely packed fresh mint
1
teaspoon fennel seeds
1
teaspoon cumin seeds
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Add ½ cup water to the blend, then puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.


Add the cilantro, parsley, mint, fennel, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth and bright green, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. You should have about 2 cups of puree; set aside.

Step 4 of 4

Cook the additional vegetables

8
ounces small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 to 1½ inches in diameter), halved
6
ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1
 medium yellow zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)

When the chicken is ready, stir the potatoes, green beans and zucchini into the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the skewer inserted into a potato meets no resistance, about 15 minutes. Stir in the puree, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

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