Yucatan Marinated Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Red Chile Mole Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 5 hr
  • Cook: 2 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 8 appetizer servings
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2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons ancho chili powder

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt

Bibb lettuce leaves, for serving

Peanut-Red Chile Mole Sauce, recipe follows

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Mint leaves, for garnish

Special equipment: Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour

Peanut-Red Chile Mole Sauce:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 medium Spanish onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 mango, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 mulato chiles, stems removed

3 New Mexican red chiles, stems removed

8 cups homemade chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 blue corn tortillas, coarsely chopped


  1. Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, chile powder, and garlic in a non-reactive large baking dish. Add chicken cubes and turn to coat. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare a charcoal or wood fire and let it burn down to embers, or preheat the broiler.
  3. Thread each piece of chicken onto a skewer. Season with salt and grill for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through completely. Place each skewer in a Bibb lettuce leaf, drizzle with Peanut-Red Chile Mole Sauce, and garnish with cilantro and mint.

Peanut-Red Chile Mole Sauce:

Yield: approximately 9 cups
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add the mango, peanuts, sesame seeds, ginger, allspice, and cloves and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the cinnamon, chiles, and stock, and season with salt and pepper; cook for 1 hour. Add the tortillas and cook for another hour.
  2. Remove cinnamon sticks and carefully ladle the hot mixture, in batches, into a blender* and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan and cook until slightly thickened.

Cook’s Note

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.