Chicken Mole Pasta
I always think of pasta as the ultimate blank canvas in the kitchen. It’s so versatile and can be used in so many ways. Case in point: This amazing Chicken Mole Pasta, a fusion recipe that adds some Latin flavors into a traditional braised chicken tomato sauce. The results are an out-of-the-park pasta recipe that everyone in your family will love!
I played a little game with my kids to get them involved with this dish since it is a bit different than a classic pasta sauce. I had them guess the secret ingredient and gave them a clue that it was sweet! “Gummy bears?!” “Whipped cream?” Having my kids shout guesses over a plate of delicious pasta was really great and a fun way to connect over dinnertime.
But, they never guessed correctly. It’s CHOCOLATE, of course. And more of it than you might think! It pairs perfectly with the chili and tomato sauce though and coats the pasta beautifully. You could use a wide range of pasta for this dish (the inspiration for my version used Casarecce). Personally, I liked Barilla Collezione Bucatini which soaked up all the delicious mole sauce due to its homemade texture
This Chicken Mole Pasta was just one example of the Art of Pasta. That just happens to be the theme of 2019 Pasta World Championship that Barilla is hosting in Paris, France on October 10-11! You can find out more about the incredible event here or follow BarillaUS on Instagram for updates!
1) Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chicken and sear for four minutes per side. Remove chicken thighs.
2) Add an extra tablespoon of olive oil along with garlic, cinnamon, coriander, and chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds. Then add tomato sauce, chicken stock, and chocolate chips. Stir to melt chocolate and bring to a slight simmer.
3) Turn heat down to low when barely simmering. Add chicken back to sauce. Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
4) Cook bucatini in salted water according to directions. The pasta should be al dente.
5) Using tongs, transfer cooked pasta straight from water to skillet with sauce. Toss to coat pasta well with sauce.
6) Divide pasta between plates and top with sliced chicken and garnish with cilantro and queso fresco.
How to Make Chicken Mole Pasta
I like to use chicken thighs for this recipe but any cut would work okay. Just make sure to get boneless skinless thighs as they will shred easier in the final dish. Season them well and place them in a large skillet with a drizzle of oil. Sear them on both sides. Don’t worry about cooking them completely at this step. They will finish cooking in the sauce later.
Remove the chicken and add a fresh drizzle of oil with all the spices and garlic. This will immediately smell amazing.
Cook that for just 30 seconds or so. Be careful not to burn the spices. Then add the tomato sauce, chicken stock, and chocolate. Yes, chocolate!
What kind of chocolate to use?! Bittersweet or semi-sweet works well. Don’t use milk chocolate.
Stir that together over medium heat until the chocolate melts. Then turn the heat down to low to avoid burning the sauce and add your chicken back in. This will need to simmer together for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Now let’s talk pasta! I used bucatini for this version which is one of my favorite styles of pasta. The sauce really clinges to it which is great for a recipe like this.
Once your pasta is cooked al dente add it straight to the sauce and toss to coat it.
Plate up portions of the pasta and sliced chicken. Drizzle on some extra sauce for good measure. The mole sauce is simple but SO flavorful and delicious.
Garnish this chicken mole pasta with some crumbled cheese and fresh cilantro.
This flavor combo is so wonderful.
My family absolutely loved this recipe. The kids really got a kick out of chocolate in their pasta sauce!