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Milk Street Bowtie Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken

1 hour 10 minutes

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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
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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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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