Mole Spice Rub

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 min
  • Active: 5 min
  • Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
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3/4 cup ancho chile powder

1/4 cup New Mexican chile powder 

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder 

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light brown sugar 

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

2 teaspoons chile de arbol 

1 teaspoon allspice 

1 teaspoon ground cloves 

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Mole-Rubbed Braised Chicken Thigh Tacos, recipe follows, optional

Mole-Rubbed Braised Chicken Thigh Tacos:

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mole Spice Rub, recipe above

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 Spanish onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

8 sprigs cilantro

6-inch flour tortillas or white corn tortillas, for serving

Guacamole, pickled red onions and/or shredded red cabbage, for serving


  1. Whisk together the chile powders, salt, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, chile de arbol, allspice, cloves and black pepper in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container or small jars with tight-fitting lids for up to 6 months or use in the Mole-Rubbed Braised Chicken Thigh Tacos.

Mole-Rubbed Braised Chicken Thigh Tacos:

Yield: 4 servings
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rub both sides of each thigh with some of the mole spice rub.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven large enough to fit the chicken thighs in a single layer. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the broth and cilantro; bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool slightly then shred with a fork; discard the bones.
  4. Meanwhile, continue to cook the braising liquid uncovered until reduced by half and thickened, about 15 minutes. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
  5. While the braising liquid is reducing, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in the oven.
  6. Heat a small cast-iron pan over medium heat until heated. Remove a warm tortilla from the foil and cook in the dry pan until slightly charred on both sides. Fill with the chicken, top with guacamole, pickled onions and/or shredded cabbage.
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