The Mayan Chilmole with Chicken

The traditional Mayan-Yucatecan sauce called Chilmole is a black mole type sauce. The original presentation is to serve it over turkey, roasted in a pit-oven, but cooks do it with chicken now and it works perfectly well. The chilmole can be bought as a dry paste, which you can make to be spicy hot or milder. We add a little garlic, cumin, oregano and a touch of vinegar to form the spices on the sauce, and to give it color and shape. For use in this recipe, I bought the dry paste from a latin store; which is why I labelled this recipe as the easy version. A few brands of dry chilmole exist out there and you can use these when trying Chilmole, instead of making the whole thing from scratch. Also Chilmole is sold as a liquid sauce at real mexican stores and there usually you can choose how spicy you want your sauce to be.

Preparing chicken in chilmole:


* 2 chickens
* 1 lemon
* 2 packs of dry chilmole (or make it yourself using Chilmole Sauce Recipe)
* 1 head garlic
* 1 sprig epazote
* 1 white onion
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 bunch dry Yucatecan oregano
* 2 bay leaves
* 4 slices white bread, shredded to small pieces
* Salt and pepper to taste


1. With a sharp and heavy knife, cut each chicken in four, with the bones. Remove all their skin and the most fat you can. Vigorously rub the chicken with lemon. Leave the chicken pieces in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

2. Put the two dry sticks of chilmole in the blender and fill with water. Liquefy, pulsing until you get a uniform liquid sauce.

3. In a heavy saucepan, with enough room for the 8 chicken pieces, pour the sauce and turn on the stove. Carefully char the garlic head and the onion (cut in quarters) in the oven set to broil. Add the charred onion and garlic to the mixture along with all the ingredients; bring to a boil. When it boils, put the chicken in the broth and reduce heat to low; boil until cooked through and they have turned black.

4. Once the chickens are cooked it is time to stop the boiling and add bread to the pot, so that the chilmole thickens. If you do not have bread at hand, you can dissolve some corn starch in water with the same purpose in mind. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper ... and you're ready to serve!

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