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Blueberry and Cranberry Chicken Mole

What’s rarer than a rose in February? How about a pint of gorgeous, plump blueberries that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

It was like a gift.

With blueberries in hand – and ice on the windows – all I could think of was a fiery hot and beautiful mole that a friend used to make for us. Her (very well-guarded recipe) was the color of cranberries.

Which of course made me think of cranberries too.

I dove into the spice drawer, and this is what I came up with.

I think you’ll love it as much as we did. It’s spicy, savory and sweet. What more can you want when you’re huddled under a blanket in February?

Blueberry and Cranberry Chicken Mole

Yield: 4 servings


1 dried guajillo chili or dried cayenne chili

1 dried chipotle chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red onion, diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 medium tomatillos, husks removed and roughly chopped

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

3 cups chicken broth

1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika

2 tablespoons roughly chopped blueberries

2 tablespoons roughly chopped dried cranberries

2 teaspoons lime juice


Place the chilies in a dry pan over medium heat. Heat for 2 minutes, or until they “bloom,” and become fragrant.

Let cool for a couple of minutes, and then remove the stem and seeds.

Place the chilies in a spice grinder, and process into a powder. Reserve.

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it shimmers.

Add the onion to the pan and season with salt, pepper and ground spices.

Sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add tomatillos and tomato paste to the pan, and stir for 1 minute.

Pour chicken broth into the pan and bring to a light simmer.

Stir in the chicken, cocoa powder, hot smoked paprika, blueberries, cranberries and lime juice.

Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve on cooked rice, or just enjoy with tortilla chips.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

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