You won’t believe how fast and easy chicken mole is until you try making it in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot! Traditionally, chicken mole is a slowly simmered complex dish with a long ingredient list. But cooking this dish under pressure means fewer ingredients and melds all the flavours in a fraction of the time. This easy chicken mole recipe cooks up so quickly.
Our recipe is adapted from one we found in the Pressure Cooker Perfection cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. It calls for bone in chicken, but we prefer the ease of boneless chicken thighs. It also uses peanut butter which we don’t eat. So we substitute coconut almond butter instead and it tastes delicious. Any nut butter you prefer will work. Lastly, we change the quantity of raisins.
One more thing we change for convenience sake; we use frozen cilantro cubes and stir them in at the end.
Since a chicken mole isn’t a mole without the chocolate, use the best cocoa you can find. Our favourite is Navitas Organics.
How to Make Easy Chicken Mole
We find the raisins in the original recipe to be way too sweet (1 cup). That could be partly due to the sugar in the organic nut butter we use. So we cut the raisins back to 3/4 cup. Adjust according to your own taste!
The sauce is cooked first.
Then puree the sauce in a blender; this is where the raisins help to thicken!
Before throwing in the chicken, season it well.
While the pressure cooker is doing its thing, make some rice.
After 25 minutes, release the pressure.
Careful when you finally open the lid; the steam is hot!
Let is sit for a few minutes while the bubbles subside before removing the chicken.
We transfer the chicken into a glass dish, instead of a cutting board. It captures all the drips.
The chicken meat easily shreds with two forks. It’s so soft, there’s hardly any effort required.
Along with rice, we like to serve it with avocado (and lemon wedges when we have them).
Pin Easy Chicken Mole for Later
- Pressure cooker or Instant Pot
- 3 tbsp grape seed oil divided
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder our favourite is Navitas Organics
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup nut butter we use MaraNatha coconut almond butter but peanut butter is fine too
- 2 1/2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add chili powder, cocoa, chipotle, cinnamon and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, tomatoes, raisins and peanut butter, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Puree sauce in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. You may need to do this in two batches. Hold a folded kitchen towel over the lid of the blender to prevent hot sauce from splattering.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now empty pressure cooker. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic for the last 30 seconds. Stir in sauce, then add chicken to pot covering chicken with sauce.
- Lock pressure cooker lid and bring to high pressure over medium heat. As soon as high pressure is reached, lower heat to medium-low. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes in the pressure cooker; adjust heat as necessary to maintain high pressure. When cooking time is complete, quick release the pressure. Be careful to direct steam away from when you open the lid and steam escapes.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board or glass dish. Let cool slightly, then shred meat with two forks into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, bring sauce to a simmer, stir in red pepper, and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and cilantro, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.