Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken molé, in the crock pot

I've been getting a lot of use out of my slow cooker lately. In the colder months when the days are shorter, there's something so nice about coming home to a wonderful-smelling kitchen and a hot dinner waiting for me. So expect to see quite a few crock pot recipes.

I love Mexican molé sauce. However, it is typically quite complicated to make. It involved toasting and grinding several different types of dried chiles, grinding an array of different nuts and seeds, and adding lots of other complicated ingredients. This is not an authentic molé, but it has very similar flavors and is much easier to make. Instead of an array of different ground seeds, I add a couple spoonfuls of nut or seed butter. I've successfully used peanut butter, sunflower butter, and tahini in the past, and I enjoyed all of them equally. I use chili powder instead of toasting and grinding my own chiles, and I also add cocoa powder and a few different spices. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts because they were on sale but you could certainly use whole breasts. I don't like thighs as much because they don't shred as well, but you could give them a shot.

In the photo, it's pictured on a low-carb tortilla, which is far from paleo but I'll eat one every once in a blue moon as a little treat. A delicious alternative would be to serve it atop shredded cabbage (packaged cole slaw mix would work fine) mixed with pico de gallo and maybe some avocado wedges.

Serves 2-4

-1 package (about 1.5 lbs) boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 15oz can tomato puree
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
-1/2 tsp aniseed
-3 tbs chili powder
-1/2 tbs maple syrup (optional; it's just a tiny bit in a lot of sauce so I don't worry too much about the sugar)
-1 cinnamon stick
-1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
-2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
-3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
-2 tbs tahini, creamy peanut butter, or other nut or seed butter
-1 canned chipotle pepper, minced
-Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Add all ingredients other than the chicken to the slow cooker.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken to the slow cooker and spoon some of the sauce over the top.
  3. Cook for 6 hours on low.
  4. To serve, remove the chicken from the crock pot, shred with a fork, and put back into the sauce. Serve with sour cream and scallions.


Anonymous said...

Just finished this for dinner, wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing!

Erica said...

I'm glad it worked out for you, it's one of my faves :)

Shane said...

Thanks Erica, great recipe. Love the blog its in my favorites, cheers

januarylark said...

what do you normally serve it with, side dish wise? I'm looking to have some folks over and not sure what would be paleo and tasty. :)

Erica said...

@januarylark: I usually make some version of a "fiesta bowl", like in this recipe: . HTH!

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