Coloradito Chicken and a New Season


Coloradito Chicken and a New Season

Oaxaca is a place I have been to countless times, but always leave wanting to go back.  No wonder I was eager to bring the crew, so they could experience all that I kept telling them about. And mostly, so they could help me capture it to bring to you.

My series director, Dan, must have been dizzy from me telling him how things are “different” in Oaxaca so many times. There is something in the air, and there is something in the way the light hits Oaxaca. It makes everything you think is familiar gain a completely different dimension. Maybe that is why Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s main cradles of art.

The blue in the sky seems a deeper shade of blue. The green in the plants, mountains and herbs looks more intense and has more saturated hues of green. When you wake up in the morning and open a window, the air smells fresher and feels more crisp. The sun shines brighter. And the word “diverse” has never had a better match.

Oaxaca is one of the – or the – most ethnically and culturally diverse places in all of Mexico. It has eight defined and distinctively different regions and 18 ethnic communities – each with their own culture, cuisine, language and pre-Hispanic forms of self governance and organization for life and society.

To put it simply, as my dad would say, Oaxaca is another world.

One of the common sayings related to Oaxaca is “the land of 7 moles.” But, the irony is that there are many more moles than that. There are dozens and dozens of them. Each mole has so many different versions, depending on the cook, the family or the town.

Here, I am sharing a Coloradito Mole with Chicken. I tested it many times at home to get the exact taste I experienced in the city of Oaxaca. So many times that Sami, my middle son, would joke “coloradito, mami, coloradito?” every time he walked in the kitchen and saw a large pot simmering.

Silky, delightfully sweet, savory, tangy, and with a light spice, it is a small window into the beautiful complex layers that Oaxaca has all around.

Try it at home and join me for the new season that is about to premiere! Check your local listings here.

Coloradito Chicken

Mole Coloradito con Pollo
6 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Ancho, chayote, chicken, Chiles, Coloradito, green beans, Guajillo, Mole, Oaxaca, Pollo, Tomato
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Here I am sharing a Coloradito Mole with Chicken. I tested it many times at home to get the exact taste I experienced in the city of Oaxaca. Silky, delightfully sweet, savory, tangy, and with a light spice, it is a small window into the beautiful complex layers that Oaxaca has all around.


  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 6 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 5 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pound (or 3 to 4) ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2-inch thick slice of white onion
  • 1 1-inch-long stick ceylon cinnamon or canela, (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon grated piloncillo, or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1 3-pound chicken cut into 8 serving pieces, (wings removed for later use and breasts cut in half)
  • Vegetable oil for cooking the chicken
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 3-ounce bar of Mexican chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 pound chayote squash, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Tortillas or rice, to serve

To Prepare

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Place the plantain in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil and make a couple of 1/2-inch slits on its skin. Bake until completely cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, when cool enough to handle, peel and slice. Set aside.
  • Heat a comal, griddle or skillet over medium heat. Once hot, toast the ancho and guajillo chiles for about 30 to 45 seconds per side, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Place chiles in a saucepan along with the whole tomatoes, cover with water and set over medium-high heat. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chiles are rehydrated and plumped up, and the tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • On the same comal, griddle or skillet, char the unpeeled garlic cloves and the onion slice, until completely charred and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping a couple of times in between. Set aside to cool. Peel the garlic when cool enough to handle.
  • On a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the cinnamon stick for a minute or two until fragrant, flipping once. Next, toast the cloves and peppercorns for a minute, moving them around the entire time. Toast the almonds for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned, as well as sesame seeds. Lastly, toast the oregano for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • As each ingredient is finished being toasted, place it in the jar of the blender: the cinnamon, garlic, onion, cloves, peppercorns, almonds, sesame seeds, and oregano. Add the rehydrated chiles, cooked tomatoes and 1 cup of their cooking broth, and the plantain to the blender, as well. Incorporate the raisins, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt, and puree at least for a couple minutes until completely smooth. If your blender is on the smaller side, puree it in batches.
  • Set a large casserole over medium-high heat and heat enough oil to have about 1/8-inch of depth. Season the chicken with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Once the oil is hot, brown the chicken pieces in batches, making sure to not crowd the casserole. Cook until they have created a crust on the skin and are easy to flip, about 3 minutes per side. Place the finished pieces in a large bowl.
  • Once you are done browning the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low. Carefully, and using the casserole’s lid as a shield (there will be splatters), pour the mole sauce into the oil. Stir and cover with the lid, leaving it slightly open, and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally (still protecting yourself with the lid), until the sauce is very thick and seasoned. Add the chicken broth, chocolate pieces, and the browned chicken pieces, and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the chayote squash and green beans, give it a good stir, and cook until vegetables are cooked yet tender, another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with tortillas and/or rice.

96 comments on “Coloradito Chicken and a New Season

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  1. This recipe was easy enough to make. I was able to find everything locally in the Cincinnati area. Instead of buying a whole chicken, I bought 3lbs of chicken breast. I also used vegetable broth since that’s what I had on hand. Other than those changes, I followed the recipe to a T.

    I’ve never had Coloradito con Pollo before, so I’m not sure what it’s “supposed” to taste like. I know it was different from the other Oaxacan moles I’ve had at restaurants. It was much spicier. In fact, I think it was too spicy for my gringo family! I would cut back on the guajillos if you have the same concern.

    I would love it if Pati could provide a Mexican chocolate recommendation. My local Latin grocery only had Abuelita’s. I was sure if that would work or not. I went to a local Meditteranean shop that sells a bit of everything and found a Taza Chocolate bar. I couldn’t pick up on the cinnamon that Mexican chocolate is “supposed” to have, but it was stone ground! So I figured that was good enough.

    Although this was dish was good, I doubt I’ll make it again. I’ll keep searching Pati’s recipes for a mole recipe that I love.

  2. I can’t wait to try this Coloradito Chicken! It looks so good. Pati is my favorite cook! Her love of her heritage and the food she makes is transferred to the viewers. I love the way she “MMMMMssss” after the meal she has cooked and is eating, she truly loves cooking! Her shows that she includes her children are the best, they always give the viewer and idea of how the meal tastes. so cute. When do we get to see her husband on the show? Or did I miss that episode. Thank you for bringing us Pati Jinich!! Barbara

  3. Hola, Pati.

    Could I make this mole without the chicken, squash and beans? That way I could refrigerate/freeze the mole for later use (like I do with mole poblano). Gracias. By the way, your recipe for mole poblano is great!

  4. Pati ,my husband and I Love Love your show so much, your receipts are amazing, thank you for everything that you have done for me and my husband are looking forward to seeing you in San Diego.

  5. Pati, 1st know, I LOVE YOUR SHOW!
    2nd, what you have said here about Oaxaca is spot on! I have been to Tijuana a few times and Nueva Laredo too, but nothing compares to Oaxaca! If I can just figure out a way to live there!
    Lastly, just in case any of your readers dont like shrimp, like me, I have used chicken in several of your dishes and they were fantastic!
    Happy New Year!

  6. Pati, I am a novice cook and never really made the effort to learn when I was young. My mother has passed away some 18 years ago and now that I have a family of my own, I very much want to cook the great food of Mexico for them. I am first generation born and raised here in Los Angeles; both parents are/were from Mexico. My mother was from Merida, Yucatan and my father is from Torreon, Coahuila. I wondered if you could recommend a supermarket where I could buy all the ingredients needed for the Mole Coloradito? Gracias

    1. Oh I don’t know LA very well…it’s best to ask some other locals for the best Mexican/Latin supermarket in your area. Have lots of fun cooking the mole, Irene! I hope the whole family loves it…and many other recipes 🙂

      1. Hi Pati–

        LOVE your show, love your approach to Mexican cuisine, love your esquites recipe!

        I wanted to leave a note for Irene about markets in the LA area: Pretty much every supermarket in our area has a fairly well-stocked “Latin” section that will have dried chiles, Mexican herbs, achiote, corn husks and all that good stuff. Mexican chocolate and piloncillo can be a bit harder to find, but I’ve seen them occasionally at my local Ralphs or Sprouts stores. A local chain called Superior Grocers has a store in downtown Long Beach with a glorious panadería and lots of Mexican specialties, so you might find everything. And I don’t know of a store in the greater LA area that doesn’t have chayotes or plantains.

        Hmm– now I want to make mole coloradito! Thanks for the inspiration, Pati!!

  7. Watch you making this dish on your show. Looks delicious can’t wait to try it. The episode was so colorful and educational. I finally got my husband hooked on watching you. To more yummy recipes.

  8. This recipe was amazing! All the different ingredients made it so delicious. My entire family enjoyed it so much !! Thank you Pati!

  9. Hola pati! Me encantan tus recetas.
    Me podrías ayudar a encontrar una receta de pollo en mole, o guisado, que el ingrediente principal del mole, es con semillas de cilantro. En tu próxima visita a México quizás la puedas encontrar. Gracias y te felicito por tu programa.

  10. I was in Oaxaca last July, 2017. I can’t tell you how I want to go back.
    Your show makes me remember all the food and new places I need to check out

    Muchas Gracias Pati,

  11. Made Coloradito Chicken , muy delicioso ! Thank you Patti for your accolades for Oaxacan cuisine. I’m a believer too.

    Was inspired by a marinated Shrimp ‘n Grits enjoyed in a high end restaurant in Ann Arbor Michigan. The grits were ringed by a delicious Oaxaca red-brown mole. Your Coloradito mole with it’s complex blend of flavors was very close.

    Took a few liberties with your recipe as I didn’t have ready access to the ancho or guajillo chiles, used my home dried jalapenos.but the results were wonderful anyway.

    Surely will make many more dishes from the wonderful Oaxaca region.

  12. I’ve been searching for a wonderful mole rojo recepie, and I cannot wait to teh this one-it seems yummy! Would you happen to have a receipe for a mole verde?

  13. Where in Fort Lauderdale, Florida can I buy Mexican ingredients. I’ve bought what I can from William Sonoma but they have only one or two things and no prepared mole. What to do. Love your show and as I always say in NYC where I live, without Mexicans we don’t eat!

  14. Thank you for sharing your incredible dish I have been looking for a good mole dish it seems like a lot but I’m looking forward to making your incredible mole soon

  15. I made this incredible dish for my son’s birthday. I don’t know if it was the myriad of ingredients, but it was the most joyful birthday dinner he’s ever had. We were all having an incredible time, and making this mole dish is something I highly recommend to anyone. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  16. I’m trying this recipe for the second time! Your family is so lucky to have you. Can I have JuJu’s seat at your kitchen table?

  17. Hi, I’m heading to Oaxaca next month and was wondering about the restaurant you mentioned in the mole series, could you give me the name, I missed it.
    Thank you,

  18. Pati,

    Thank you So much for sharing this receipe! I have been searching for a great mole receipe from scratch for so many years! I think your receipe will be perfect! I will be trying soon, I have never made mole from scratch and it is one of my favorite dishes!!!!


  19. I have always wanted to learn how to make mole from scratch – it is 1 of my favorite dishes!!! Thank you SO much – I will try this receipe soon & hope it comes out as good as yours looks!!!!


  20. Pati,
    I religiously watch your show. I spent 6 months living in Oaxaca, and the Oaxacan episodes brought back so many warm and wonderful memories. Oaxaca is truly a magical town, not only for the food, the sights, but the people I’ve met, especially when going to the market. They all want you to try what they are selling, and gave recipes as well! Thank you for, you are awesome. And love episodes with your children (and from time to time your husband) as well.

  21. The only block Mexican chocolate I could find says that’s it’s for a chocolate drink! Would it be ok to use in this recipe?
    Thank you – Vanessa

  22. Hi Patti…I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching your show. If only I could be there with you tasting your fabulous food. The Coloradito Chicken made my mouth water as you added each ingredient and then tasted the completed dish. And Oaxaca, Mexico seems like an awesome place to visit. Their culinary offerings sound like so much fun to experience. Ahhhh…Some day…. I dream of the day I can afford to make the trip. Thank you so much for putting so much warmth and joy into your programs. I could eat your food every day.

  23. We love your new show Patti, as we love Oaxaca as well. Hope there will be a new cook book with these recipes soon? I am making chicken Coloradito next Saturday for a birthday…I’m sure it will be festive! I bought bags of both chiles through Amazon; when they arrived we could smell them through the bag-yum! Thank you for posting this recipe online. I have both your first two books; every recipe works-and they are delicious.

  24. Wow, hands down best mole I have even made — and not even close to the most complicated one. Thank you! The vegetable add a wonderful dimension — I added a calabasa squash as well. Question for you, how much oil should be integrated into the sauce once the chicken is browned? I felt like I too much, so pared it back, but really would like to know how much to target next time around as the consistence was perfect.

    1. It depends on how large your pan is…for my casserole covering it with oil to be 1/8 in deep is enough to use all of the oil with the sauce. But you can adjust it for your taste!

  25. Thank you for this amazing and inspired recipe! I usually just buy mole in a jar from the store because I realize how complex they are but you have convinced me to make this recipe. I could practically taste it as I was reading the article and recipe. Thank you for your inspiration! May God be with the people of Mexico during this time of crisis.

  26. Love, love, love.. your cooking show!
    I record them to see later in the day..
    Magnificent, natural…enticing!
    We are puertoricans living in North Carolina, but our love for Mexico and its cuisine started many, many years ago while living in California, and since then, we have made so many good friends, specially from Oaxaca.

  27. Got to try this. This looks very yummy.
    My family would love this recipe but will cut on the spices.
    Cannot handle spicy food.

    Thank you for sharing, Patti !!!

  28. Some of the items needed for this recipe are not readily available. I find this recipe too difficult to make because I would never find these items.

    1. Sorry to hear this Sara…You can find lots of the ingredients online or at your local Latin market or the international food aisle of your market.

  29. Pati,Your recipes are so Great and delicious,and your presentation is nothing short of perfect!
    You are the best of all the chefs on all the food channels.Thank you for all your hard work and let’s have another six years or more of “Pati’s Mexican Kitchen!”Blessings to you, Best,Harry Dwyer.⛳️

  30. I love mole sauce and have attempted make from Rick Pales’s recipe. I seemed so involved, complicated but tastes good. I wound up buying it from market. Is it supposed to be so sweet? I have ordered it from Mexican restaurant and it was very good but still sweet. In preparing it myself ancho and guajillo chillies fresh from market or is dried chillies better? What difference is from Guacamole?
    I was raised in south east Texas and there many Mexican Texans there but only knew of tomales from roadside stands. Many of our neighbors were Italian and Lousiana Cajon so I grew up with the taste of that pluss my moms Southern cooking from Gorgia. Sorry but my taste buds got all watery and I could couldn’t let it go, Like South Carolina whole hog barbecue.

  31. This sounds interesting to try with my lil girl. She wants to be a top chef when she is done with school. Teaching her to cook has always been fun and she loves “Hot Spices” on Everything! Showing her this recipe made her stop eating and asked to cook it during our supper.. That didnt happen! But she copied it to her laptop and has settled into getting what we need to do this recipe on Saturday even inviting a few friends to share the taste! My short little girl is another that wants to just eat anything she smells and lets her eyes close as she smells things in the kitchen. I hope to teach her one day to be like me and learn food is her center of what can become a goal for her when she is married. The two of them are doing great as far as trying to learn flavors and I am Thanking You for these recipes you show. Being a single parent is hard but getting the girls to do things is easy if they can see what brings them happy meals they can be taught. Onward and into Saturday to cook for our meal you have here!

    1. Awwww…thank you so much for sharing! This means so much to me. I hope your girls and you have many amazing kitchen adventures!

  32. Pati,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Coloradito was my favorite mole on my visit to Oaxaca and I’m so excited to have this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.