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Cheatin’ Chicken Mole

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Cheatin Chicken Mole

Cheatin' Chicken Mole

Jessica Braider
Mole sauce is such a flavorful treat, often combining chili peppers, unsweetened chocolate, and sesame seeds or ground nuts, and whatever other magic ingredients contribute to its rich irresistible taste. I’ve tried buying a jar of mole sauce and it’s just not nearly as good, so I love this slow cooker version, which isn’t quite like the real Mexican version with its 20 plus ingredients, but is still savory, rich and delicious. This creates a lot of sauce, which is lovely ladled over rice. Scramble recipe tester Kathryn Howell Dalton’s 5-year-old son Arthur said this was "super duper yummy” and tender.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings


  • 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs or use some chicken and some extra-firm tofu, cut into chunks, about 3 lbs.
  • 1 yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper thinly sliced, any color
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt sea salt, or other coarse salt
  • 16 oz. chunky salsa look for brands with no sugar added
  • 1 lime juice only, 2 - 3 Tbsp.
  • 1 1/2 cup rice or use quick-cooking brown rice, for serving
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds store-bought or homemade


  • Put the chicken, onions, and peppers in a slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, oregano, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Pour the spices evenly over the chicken and vegetables, and pour the salsa and lime juice around everything.
  • Cook on low for 5 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before the chicken is done, prepare the rice according to package directions.
  • Serve the chicken and sauce topped with the sesame seeds and over the rice, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

To Cook in the Oven

  • Follow directions above, putting the chicken in a baking dish instead of the slow cooker. Bake it uncovered at 400 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes until it is cooked through or reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • About 30 minutes before the chicken is done, prepare the rice according to package directions.


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cut, drain, and refrigerate the tofu if using, slice the onion and bell pepper, combine the spices and cocoa powder, juice the lime, toast the sesame seeds if necessary, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 – 2 Tbsp. tahini or almond butter and 1/4 cup raisins to the sauce.
Tip: If the chicken you purchase has skin, use a paper towel to grab the skin and then pull it up and off the chicken.
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 167, Total Fat: 5g, 7.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 6%; Cholesterol: 77mg, 25.5%; Sodium: 999mg, 41.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 15g, 5%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 20.5%; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 20g
Keyword All, Company/Entertaining, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kosher, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter
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