Taste of North Mexico
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Recipe courtesy of Fermín Núñez

Enchiladas de Pollo en Mole Coloradito

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
An enchilada stuffed with juicy chicken and covered with mole sauce is an excellent way to showcase mole coloradito, one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. Coloradito typically calls for brioche or other bread to thicken the sauce; I like using sourdough for the slightly funky flavor it brings to the mole. Chocolate and plantains are common in this version as well, but I prefer mine without these to emphasize the flavors of the other ingredients. This recipe is a great way to demonstrate one of my favorite Mexican cooking techniques: refrying. Refrying is the process of cooking something again in an extremely hot saucepot to give it more character and depth of flavor.



  1. Combine the ancho, pasilla and guajillo chiles and raisins in a medium bowl. Add enough hot water to cover, cover the bowl and soak until the chiles are softened and the raisins plump, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain. Remove and discard the stems from the chiles. Set the raisins and chiles aside.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with enough oil to coat and sprinkle with salt. Roast until the vegetables are soft and slightly charred, about 25 minutes.
  4. Place the sourdough on a small rimmed baking sheet, drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt. Spread out in an even layer and toast until golden brown, 6 to 9 minutes.
  5. Place the cloves, cumin and cinnamon stick in a small heavy skillet. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small plate. Add 3 tablespoons of the sesame seeds to the same skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the toasted spices.
  6. Drain the chiles and raisins. Working in 2 batches, combine the chiles and raisins, roasted vegetables, toasted sesame seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin, sourdough and broth in a blender. Puree until smooth, return to the bowl and set aside.
  7. To refry the sauce, pour enough oil into a 6-quart saucepan to cover the bottom. Place over high heat. Once the oil just begins to smoke, partially cover the pot to protect from the sauce splattering and carefully pour in the blended ingredients (see Cook's Note). Immediately cover the pot, lower the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes; this will allow the flavors to marry and intensify.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. To assemble the enchiladas, add about 1 tablespoon oil to a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Fry the tortillas one at a time, turning them once, just until soft and pliable; this will make them easier to roll and prevent them from cracking. Set them aside in a stack on a plate, covered, to keep warm.
  10. When ready to assemble, flip the stack of tortillas to use the ones on the bottom first, fill each tortilla with chicken, roll to enclose and place side-by-side in a row in a large baking dish. Once the dish is full, cover the enchiladas completely with the mole and bake until the chicken is warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a small heavy skillet set over medium heat. Toast, stirring constantly, until just lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the enchiladas with the sesame seeds and serve.         

Cook’s Note

It's important to be careful when refrying the sauce; when it hits the hot pan it may splatter. Protect your hands with kitchen mitts, and use this pro trick: Have the lid partially covering the pot with just enough space to pour the sauce in. This way, once all liquid is inside the pot, it is easier to cover the pot. Dried chiles like the ancho, pasilla and dried guajillo chiles in this recipe are a great pantry staple. You can find them in Mexican grocery stores, or in the spice aisle or international aisle at some larger supermarkets—or online, of course.