Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mole Poblano Sauce

I honestly cannot remember when I first had Mexican Mole Poblano Sauce. All I know is that I fell in love with it a long time ago. I love the combination of chilies, cocoa, cinnamon, & ground nuts. Years ago I used to buy a special mole mix made by La Victoria. The dry powdery mix came in a small can and was so easy to use. Unfortunately, La Victoria stopped making that product. I've tried other brands of jarred mole pastes, but, even though the flavor was good, the dry & super dense pastes were hard to work with.

A few years ago my local newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, published a copycat version of the La Victoria mix. Many thanks to Teresa Hoswell of Fair Oaks, CA, who contacted the company and was sent the recipe for making a homemade mole mix.

One of the great things about this mix is that it's so easy to put together. For someone on a low sodium diet, it's a perfect sauce choice too. Very flavorful even without salt. It's great made with chicken or turkey. I usually use chicken thighs, but tonight I used chicken half-breasts. In the past I've used turkey thighs and even turkey drumsticks. It's wonderful for using up leftover chicken or turkey. Something to remember after Thanksgiving.

The chicken/turkey is braised until tender and cooked through. I usually add some finely chopped onion that has been sauteed in a bit of olive oil along with 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic. I braise the meat and aromatics in low sodium chicken broth for about 15-20 minutes before adding the mole mix. Then I simmer everything together until the meat is fully cooked and tender, another 15-20 minutes. I remove the meat and simmer the sauce uncovered until it is thickened. Sometimes I'll add a cornstarch slurry. I like to serve mole with brown rice. One of our favorite Mexican restaurants serves mole enchiladas. Now that is delicious! The combo of chicken, corn tortillas, and mole sauce is heavenly!

Here's the recipe with my notes:

Mole Sauce Mix
La Victoria Copy Cat Recipe/Sacramento Bee
(Printable Recipe)

3 tbsp. chili powder (I use unsalted chili powder)
1 tbsp. finely ground breadcrumbs (low sodium)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt (I omit)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp. cocoa
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp. creamy peanut butter (I use unsalted or very low sodium peanut butter)
1 tsp vegetable oil

Mix chili powder, breadcrumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, & cocoa together. Blend peanut butter & oil into dry mixture. (I use a fork to blend the peanut butter & oil into the spice mixture.) This mixture may be refrigerated and stored in a tightly covered container. Makes about ¼ cup.

To Make Sauce: Blend the mix and 2 cups chicken broth or water in a saucepan. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently until thickened as desired.

24 comments:

OhioMom said...

I have to confess that I have never had a mole sauce, this sounds so good .. and I like the idea of no or little salt. Bookmarking this one for summer grilled chicken :)

shambo said...

Linda, it's a delicious spicy sauce. One of our favorite local Sacramento area Mexican restaurants serves chicken enchiladas with mole sauce. This sauce tastes almost exactly the same.

Sarah T. said...

I always see recipes for Mole that have like three pages worth of ingredients with a ten step, thirty-six hour prep and cook time, so thanks Mom. It's low-salt, but more importantly, it's easy.

shambo said...

Yup, I really like this recipe. I don't know if you remember me using the canned mole dry mix when we lived in San Jose. I was really upset when La Victoria stopped making it. But I got excited when this recipe appeared in the Bee.

I know what you mean. I get discouraged just looking at the ingredient list of authentic mole recipes. This easy one fits the bill for me.

Lisa said...

I am so happy to see your post! My mom made taco sauce with La Victoria's canned mole poblano sauce (1/2 can plus ground beef plus canned crushed tomatoes, a little wine and it's FABULOUS. I bought a case of cans just before they stopped producing, but we haven't had "secret sauce" for years. THANK YOU!

Lisa said...

PS I still have an empty can -- occasionally I pull it out and try to track down ingredients. The recipe on the can for chicken Mole is:
2 1/2 lbs chicken pieces
1 can (3 oz) Mole Poblano
Boil chicken in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and reserve broth. Combine 3 cups broth (add water if necessary to make 3 cups) and can of Mole Poblano. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently untill smooth and slightly thickened. Add checken and simmer 15 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Makes 4 servings.

The ingredients listed on the can are: chili powder, peanut butter, cracker meal, sugar salt, cottonseed oil, cocoa and cinnamon flavoring.

shambo said...

Lisa, thanks for your comments. I was so upset when I discovered that La Victoria had discontinued the canned mole sauce mix. But this copycat is almost exactly the same. I love mole sauce, and this sauce is especially nice because it's so flavorful that I can eliminate the salt content without any real loss of flavor.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I've never tasted mole sauce before, but had wanted to for years. I thought to make it myself, but the recipes I've seen have LONG lists of ingredients and so much prep! I'm SO GLAD to have found this (DH also has high blood pressure)! I'm going to make this tasty recipe tonight and hope it'll be all I hope it to be!

shambo said...

I certainly hope you enjoy this recipe. Since it's so close to Thanksgiving, I think it would be a great way to use up for all that leftover turkey meat. It would make a flavorful change from the usual casseroles & soups.

Anonymous said...

Hello again. Just wanted to let you know that I made it for dinner tonight and it was tasty and full of flavour! THANK YOU AGAIN!

shambo said...

Thank you so much for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why La Victoria discontinued their mole pablano product? I was one of a kind! I was raised on it! The can with the rooster on the front!!

shambo said...

I have no idea why the product was discontinued, but I can assure you that this recipe produces a mole sauce that tastes exactly the same. The only change I've made is to eliminate the salt, but other than that, this is a really close clone. And it's super easy to put together. Give it a try!

Joann A said...

I have tried to contact La Victoria
Foods, but am unsuccessful! I cook
so much Mexican food for my friends, family and neighbors. I used to be
able to find this one of a kind best mole at any local market, but for years it hasn't been available anywhere! I decided to go on line, find the La Victoria website and ask if it will become available again; then, this blog access came up. I am once more excited about cooking with mole, now that there is a "copy cat" recipe in this blog. I have so many recipe variations using this mole Poblano
I am going to follow this recipe
and try it to see how close it is to the real thing.

Anonymous said...

another great canned mole sauce is Dona maria!

shambo said...

In my pre-low sodium days I used Dona Maria jarred mole sauce, and I agree that it was tasty. But at 400 mgs. sodium per 2 tablespoon serving size, it's a bit too much sodium. The directions call for 1 part mole paste to 4 parts broth, so using plain water or unsalted chicken broth helps. But when I make mole, I want a LOT of sauce. That's why I appreciate the La Victoria clone so much. All the flavor but none of the sodium.

Carmie said...

After La Victoria discontinued their mole powder I contacted them. They then made it available by the case for those who inquired. After a while they discontinued that so I asked for the recipe.It was this same recipe and I use it all the time. Maybe if we keep bugging them they'll bring it back.

Anonymous said...

Tonight I used the LAST of my hoarded cans of the La Victoria powdered mole...so sad...I will try this recipe!

shambo said...

I know what you mean about hoarding the cans of Mole Sauce mix. But let me assure you that this recipe will give you pretty much identical results. Of course, my version does not have any salt. So, if you're a salt user, feel free to add some to taste. I hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

My family was in the same boat when La Victoria discontinued it. Thank you for the receptive.
I also found this recently. Has anyone tried it?
http://www.mexgrocer.com/44989-33215.html

shambo said...

I can honestly say that this recipe is an almost perfect duplicate of the La Victoria mix. I looked at the product you linked to. The ingredients sound like they'd make a tasty mole. However, it does have salt in it, so I'd rather use my homemade version. If salt isn't a concern for you, then give it a try. Good luck!

Jesse said...

This is the recipe minus the cinnamon . LA Victoria sent my Family . It is the same thing my mother use to make back in the 70s and 80s.

Anonymous said...

I searched for the La Victoria mole sauce mix in the can for ages and finally gave up. I never liked any of the mole sauces in jars, and I, like so many others, found the various recipes available lacking. I was watching one of my cooking shows today, heard someone refer to mole sauce for the umpteenth time and decided to Google it. Your recipe without salt makes me extremely hopeful. Thank you so much!

shambo said...

Thanks for all the commednts.

This recipe is a dead ringer for the La Victoria mole sauce mix. If you don't have a sodium restriction, add a bit of salt. But even without the salt, it tastes wonderful. And it's so easy to put together. It also uses pantry items you normally have available. Can you tell I'm a big fan?