Coffee Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce

Rich home-made mole sauce with tender cocoa flavor coats tender chicken in this delicious dish.

  • Prep Time 35 min
  • Total Time 2 hr 35 min
  • Servings 6

Ingredients

Chicken

4
cups water
1/3
cup salt
1/3
cup packed dark brown sugar
1
tablespoon cumin seed
1
tablespoon chili powder
1
lime, thinly sliced
1
cup strong-brewed coffee, at room temperature
6
boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 lb)
2
tablespoons vegetable oil

Mole Sauce

1
medium onion, thinly sliced
2
cloves garlic, finely chopped
1
can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 1/4
cups chicken broth
1
tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1
teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2
teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of ground cinnamon
1
oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2
chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from 7-oz can), chopped
Salt and pepper, if desired
  • 1 In 2-quart saucepan, heat water, salt, brown sugar, cumin seed, chili powder and lime slices over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in coffee. Cool mixture to room temperature.
  • 2 Place chicken in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag or large bowl, and pour cooled coffee mixture over chicken. Seal bag or cover bowl. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
  • 3 In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry on paper towels. Discard marinade. When oil is hot and shimmers lightly, place chicken in skillet. Cook about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until golden on other side. Place chicken on plate.
  • 4 In same skillet, cook onion over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, broth, peanut butter, granulated sugar, ground cumin, cinnamon, chocolate and chiles. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture simmers and peanut butter and chocolate are melted.
  • 5 Reduce heat to medium-low and nestle chicken breasts in sauce. Cook uncovered 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Expert Tips

Why it Works: Coffee Perks When harvested, coffee beans (actually seeds taken from the coffee fruit called a coffee cherry) have very little flavor. Their seductive aroma and taste come after the beans have been fermented and roasted. Once brewed, coffee is useful in many aspects of cooking. It makes a great marinade and braising liquid because its natural acids tenderize meat (try adding a cup to your next pot roast before cooking). Coffee-tasting experts claim coffee contains hints of cinnamon, chocolate, wine, fruit and even caramel flavors. For this reason, coffee enhances and balances the flavor of a number of savory dishes, including this mole sauce. Try replacing some of the water with coffee the next time you make beef gravy, stew or soup.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
320
(
Calories from Fat
120),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
14g
14%
(Saturated Fat
4g,
4%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
80mg
80%;
Sodium
2130mg
2130%;
Total Carbohydrate
15g
15%
(Dietary Fiber
3g
3%
  Sugars
8g
8%
),
Protein
33g
33%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
15%;
Vitamin C
20%;
Calcium
8%;
Iron
15%;
Exchanges:
1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.