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Payton’s Paleo Chicken Mole

Posted on May 5, 2014 | 4 comments

Payton’s Paleo Chicken Mole

Payton’s Paleo Chicken Mole

Paleo Chicken Mole is a new twist on an ancient dish. Historians dispute the origin of the original mole sauce, although most legends have it first being prepared in the 1600’s and geographically being from a town near Mexico City. This delicious sauce, pronounced MOH-lay, is made from a complex blend of North American, Mexican and African spices and ingredients. It is often referred to as black mole, which is the version that contains chocolate. Other moles include: red, yellow, green and other varieties, such as Coloradito, which refer to the regions that are known to cook certain flavors.


Frequently prepared as a special occasion or celebratory dish for weddings, banquets, birthday and dinner parties, mole is famous for its complexity, high number of ingredients, and sophisticated, velvety texture. Much of the unique characteristic of this Paleo Chicken Mole is due to the slow roasting and stewing of the multiple ingredients, which produce the rich, thick, heavy body of the sauce.


My own version of Paleo Chicken Mole keeps chocolate as a key ingredient and uses organic dark maple syrup as the necessary sweet component. I feel the subtle, intricately complex taste of this sauce cannot be created without the syrup and dark chocolate (carob powder could also be substituted for those who can’t tolerate chocolate, but of course, the flavor will be altered.) I chose the organic dark maple syrup as it is relatively low in fructose and tolerated by most of those who avoid FODMAP foods. The robust maple flavor of the dark amber or “grade B” maple syrup enhances the spiciness of the chilies and the heavy body of the finished sauce.


Payton’s Paleo Chicken Mole

Paleo Chicken Mole



 (Payton’s Paleo 30 Day Challenge friendly if made with stevia)


1) In a large, heavy gauge stock pot, or dutch oven (at least 4-6 quarts), simmer the chopped onion in olive oil until translucent.

2) Add the minced garlic and saute about 3 more minutes. Keep the garlic from overly browning. (Otherwise it will taste bitter).  Stir in spices and salt, then turn off heat to pot.


Stir in the chocolate and maple syrup after the mole has reduced. (Click on picture to enlarge).

3) In a jar or bowl, mix 1 cup of chicken broth with the starch. Shake or stir until the starch is completely dissolved. Add this mixture, along with the other 3 cups of chicken broth, and the cans of chilies, to the onion and spice pot and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, long enough to reduce the sauce by a third, (about 45 minutes).

4) When the sauce has reduced, stir-in the maple syrup and chocolate until melted. Your mole sauce is not ready to have whatever meat you choose added to it.


The finished mole sauce can be ladled over chicken pieces, or you can add chicken pieces, whole or cut up, to the sauce so the flavors will soak into the meat. This is a dish that can taste even better eaten the next day, as the meat is then infused with the unique mole taste. Serve hot, over white rice.


Black maple mole can also be used over other types of meat such as pulled pork or beef roast and it can be used alone to top any number of other dishes.


Chicken for Paleo Mole Sauce


One organic whole chicken of around 5 lbs with the above sauce will make 8-10 servings.  The finished dish freezes and reheats well.


I found it easy to place the whole chicken in my slow cooker, on its highest setting, and have it cooking before I made the mole sauce. The 5 pound bird took about 3 hours on my highest setting.  I used the broth from it, (after skimming off the fat), to make the mole. The extra amount of broth I needed was from an organic gluten-free brand of broth. (Make sure to check all broths you buy, there is often hidden wheat in store-bought broth.)


I pulled all the skin off the finished crock pot-cooked bird. Then I pulled the meat off the bones, cutting it up into large bite size pieces, and mixed it into the mole.



Crock-pot cooked chicken. (Click to enlarge picture).

Alternately, you could simply oven roast the whole chicken while you were making the maple mole. I wanted to have as much homemade chicken broth as possible, so I chose the slow cooker method.


Pulling meat apart.










Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Lyle

    The was no disputing it was a special occasion when my wife brought home a delicious serving of this chocolaty-chicken goodness. One of my all-time favorite dishes done extremely well for someone raised so far from Mexico.

    The chicken was fresh and delicious and the sauce complex yet blended into a smooth taste with subtle spices and an undertone of sweetness. The chocolate was also not over bearing as the rich color suggested. The effect was a consistent cohesive (expertly blended) sauce. Thanks Payton!

    • admin

      Thanks Lyle, so glad you liked it. I think there are more paleo deliveries in your future…always looking for taste testers. 🙂

  2. Delia

    I can personally attest that this is one of the tastiest molés I have ever enjoyed! Yum, yum, yum!! Thank you so much, Payton, for sharing the Paleo goodness! Highly recommend this fabulous recipe!

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