Mole Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One of our older son’s favorite dishes is Chicken Mole. We’ve always been nervous about preparing mole at home, because the recipes seem complex with a lot of ingredients. So when I found a simplified recipe for Paleo Mole in “Sheet Pan Paleo” by Pamela Elgen, I was inspired to give it a try. And while we all enjoyed dinner, my son definitely liked the recipe more than anyone else. The original recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs, which we used, but next time we make this, we’re going to use boneless chicken instead. We also use cocoa nibs, and I think they’re too bitter for a recipe like this, so we’re going to use very dark chocolate next time.

Paleo Mole Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

We had friends for dinner and wanted to make something special. Our older son loves Chicken Mole; it's one of his favorite dishes. We found a recipe for Paleo Mole in "Sheet Pan Paleo" by Pamela Elgen, and with a few modification, prepared Paleo Mole Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, dairy-free, guacamole, paleo, sugar-free, sweet potato, wheat-free, Whole Life Challenge
Servings: 8
Calories: 443kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 dried ancho chile peppers seeds and stems removed
  • 2 dried guajillo chile peppers seeds and stems removed
  • 2 cups chicken broth heated
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 bunch green onion or garlic chives
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fennel seed or anise seed, ground
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 oz very dark chocolate grated
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes washed and diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • After you've removed the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers, toast them in a hot skillet for about 30 seconds on each side. Use the back of a wooden spoon to flatten them so the heat reaches the entire surface.
  • Roughly chop the toasted peppers and add them to your blender along with the heated chicken broth and raisins.
  • Toast the sesame seeds in the same heated skillet over medium heat until they're fragrant and golden brown. Add them to the blender.
  • Using the same skillet, add two tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook until softened. Then add the cloves, cinnamon, coriander, anise or fennel, and black pepper, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Add to the blender.
  • Heat the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil in the skillet and cook the almonds and pepitas for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add them to the blender.
  • Puree all of the ingredients in the blender until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt to taste. You may need to use a spatula to move the ingredients around the blender to ensure everything is mixed thoroughly.
  • Pour the sauce into a medium saucepan over medium heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the dark chocolate until melted and thoroughly incorporated. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Place your chicken thighs in a large bowl and pour about 2 cups of the mole sauce over top. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated in sauce.
  • Toss your diced sweet potatoes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spread them out on a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Place the chicken thighs on a sheet pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. 25 minutes into cooking, remove the foil. Cook in the oven until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until browned.
  • To serve, pour a healthy spoonful of extra mole sauce over plated chicken and a scoop of roasted potatoes. Enjoy!

Notes

We also served a fresh raw Zucchini Salad and prepared some simple Guacamole. 
Pepitas are basically pumpkin seeds. They come from varieties of pumpkins whose seeds don’t have a hull, which makes them easier to eat. I use them in salads and smoothie bowls. 
If you can’t find vegan (e.g. dairy-free) dark chocolate in your local grocer, I strongly recommend Hu bars. They have 10 or more varieties, but for this recipe, go with the Hu Simple Dark Chocolate. They’re not cheap, but they are absolutely delicious. You’ll need to use about 1 1/2 bars for this recipe, which leaves you 2 1/2 bars to simply enjoy!
 

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