Chicken Mole Chili

Challenge your guests to guess the surprise ingredient in this flavorful chili.


  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
  • 3 ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 slices lean smoky bacon, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • One can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika for mild mole or chili powder, for spicy mole
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded or crumbled, for topping
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped, for topping
  • Chopped cilantro, for topping


In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock and ancho chili peppers to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the peppers are softened, about 10 minutes. Using a food processor, puree the peppers and stock.

While the chili peppers are working, in a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat, until smoking. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Lower the heat, add the yellow onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes; season with pepper. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute.

Pour the ancho stock into the chili. Stir in the tomatoes, cocoa powser, paprika, coriander and cinnamon and simmer for a few minutes; season with salt if necessary.

Serve in bowls and top with the cheese, sour cream, red onion and cilantro.

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