This delicious and healthy chicken mole poblano recipe is brought to you by Natvia, makers of a non-GMO, stevia based sweetener that makes a handy addition to both sweet and savoury foods! It’s an easy way to balance out spicy and acidic flavours in cooking without using sugar.
It seems like an eternity ago now that I was enjoying my holiday in Mexico a little earlier this year. Oh how quickly that glow washes off when you come back to a jam-packed schedule full of work, study and general life busy-ness! It’s not all bad though of course…and there’s always time to daydream a little and plan the next adventure.
Since coming back from Mexico I’ve been meaning to create a healthy chicken mole poblano recipe, purchasing a jar of ancho chilies weeks ago especially to do this. Thankfully those chilies are sold dried and they last so long in the cupboard, there are always SO many things I want to cook!
In case you were wondering, the term “mole” is a generic word that can refer to any number of sauces in Mexican cuisine. However, outside of Mexico the sauce we probably associate “mole” most frequently with the mole sauce I have made here; a “mole poblano”. This is a rich, chocolate-y sauce with a lovely earthy chili punch to it. The ancho chilies are essential to developing this flavour, they have a smoky, fruity quality that adds so much character to this sauce.
Of course, I had to put a little bit of a healthy spin on this chicken mole poblano recipe, blending together simple, natural ingredients including tomatoes, pure peanut butter, cacao powder and balancing out that spicy kick with a small amount of Natvia instead of sugar. It all comes together in a velvety, thick and utterly delicious sauce that’s really quite nutritious too!
Easy Healthy Chicken Mole Poblano
This healthy chicken mole recipe is so flavoursome. It's really easy to prepare, contains no added sugar and it's gluten free and dairy free too!
- 600 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 brown onion
- 1 red chilli
- 2-3 capsicums (any colour)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
- 2 dried ancho chilies
- 400 grams tinned tomatoes
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (smooth)
- 4 tsbp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp granulated stevia (I used Natvia)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- fresh coriander
- Greek yoghurt or sour cream, or coconut yoghurt
Start by soaking the ancho chilies for the mole sauce. Place the chilies in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes, then drain the water and remove the stalks from the chilies when cool enough to touch.
To make the sauce, place the soaked chilies together with all of the other mole sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend together until smooth and evenly combined. Set aside.
Prep the rest of the ingredients. Crush or finely chop the garlic. Cut open the chili, scrape out and discard most seeds, and finely chop the skin. Slice up the onion and capsicum. Cut the chicken thighs into large chunks.
Place a large, high-sided frying/sauté pan or a saucepan on the stove, set it to a medium-high heat and add olive oil.
Once the pan is hot add the chicken, onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, turning a little, until the chicken is turning white all over. Throw in the capsicum and chili and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, until everything is slightly softened and the chicken is browning
Pour in the mole sauce. Stir it in until everything is evenly distributed in the pan. Allow the sauce to reach a rapidly bubbling simmer, then reduce the heat to low, so it gently bubbles away.
Cook the chicken for at least 20 minutes, uncovered so the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. If you have time, you can reduce the heat to super low and simmer this, partially covered, on the stove for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, until the thigh meat is really soft and can be shredded through the sauce. A little extra water can be added during the cooking process to keep the sauce to your desired consistency.
While the mixture is simmering away, make any sides that you'd like to serve with the chicken. Once done, plate it all up and serve hot.
*I use a common large red chilli that you typically find in supermarkets. This ingredient is just to add additional heat to the mole, and you can adjust the amount you use to suit your personal preference. Also, I know there are a huge variety of chillies available; if you pick up one of the smaller, hotter chillies, you can adjust the amount to account for that, too!
*If you want a darker, richer sauce, add an extra tablespoon or two of cacao powder.
*If you prefer not to use stevia, this can be substituted for an equivalent amount of honey or maple syrup.