The best chicken mole uses poached dark meat

CaCao Mexicatessen mole recipe
You can serve the mole straight from the skillet.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

This technique of poaching dark-meat chicken until silky and tender works with any mole sauce and leaves you with enough chicken stock to make soup. Simply strain the leftover stock into airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Pulled Chicken in Mission Fig Mole Sauce

1 ½ hours, largely unattended. Serves 6.


  • 2 small white onions, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 whole chicken legs (2 ½ pounds)
  • 2 cups Mission Fig Mole
  • Chopped cilantro, sliced green onion tops, sliced radishes and sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Cooked rice, warmed tortillas and grilled cebollitas, for serving


  1. Combine the onions, carrot, celery, bay leaves and thyme in a large saucepan. Add 6 cups cold water, then bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Generously salt the water, then lower in the chicken legs. They should be barely covered by the water. Return to a simmer, then cover, reduce the heat to low and poach until the meat is very tender and has pulled away from the bones, 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a bowl to cool slightly; keep the stock simmering uncovered on the stove. Scrape the mole into a large, deep skillet or saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring often to prevent the sauce from scorching. Ladle in enough of the simmering chicken stock to thin the mole to a pourable, less pasty consistency, about ½ cup.
  4. Discard the skin and bones from the chicken and pull the meat into large chunks. Transfer to the simmering mole sauce and fold to evenly coat. Add more chicken stock if you’d like a thinner sauce. Top with cilantro, green onions, radishes and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice and tortillas.