This version of Oaxaca chicken in yellow mole sauce is modified to be low carb by replacing the traditional potatoes with chayote squash. This enhances the flavor at the same time that it modifies the dish to a low carb diet.Jump to Recipe
Yellow Mole as opposed to Mole Rojo
Mole occupies a predominant place in Mexican cuisine. Yellow mole is one of the famous 7 moles from Oaxaca, and the yellow color typically comes from the chilhuacle pepper. Chilhuacle peppers are very hard to find however, even in Oaxaca, so I have used a mole spice blend that has a flavor similar to the mole made with chilhuacle peppers, but the color will be a subtle orange rather than yellow.
Using a Mole Spice Blend vs. Roasting and Peeling Peppers
The first time I made low carb chicken in yellow mole sauce, I used fresh peppers that I roasted and peeled. While it tasted delicious, it was a labor of love, and it was not going to be a dish that I returned to very often. It was simply too time-consuming. The recipe is posted here if you want to try the “from scratch” version.
I did love the complex flavors and textures in the yellow mole stew however, and set about to make an easier version. The recipe below uses similar ingredients, but uses a mole spice blend instead of the fresh roasted chile peppers. Honestly I could not taste a difference in the complexity or depth of flavor between the recipe made with fresh roasted peppers as opposed to the mole spice blend.
An alternative to chilhuacle peppers to achieve the yellow color in the mole
I grow the Peruvian aji amarillo pepper on our farm and it is a beautiful yellow color with a bright complex flavor. The problem is, the aji amarillo pepper is also very spicy. In fact,it is considered to be four to twenty times hotter than a jalapeno.
That is not a problem of course, if you enjoy spicy foods, but it does detract from the subtle chocolatey warmth and sweetness of the mole spice blend flavors in this particular stew.
If you want to try it with the aji amarillo blend, you can get the aji blend here. If you use it in the recipe below, add 1 tsp aji spice and back off of the mole spice blend from 3 tsp to 2 tsp. Just know that the aji blend is very hot!
A good DIY recipe for your own mole powder can be found here. It is not yellow however, but rather the “rojo”.
The recipe below is the “easy” version of Chicken Mole with Chayote Squash
Low Carb Yellow Chicken Mole with Chayote Squash
- large stock pot (or dutch oven)
- sharp knife (Chef’s knife)
- 4 large tomatillos peeled
- 1 large onion peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tsp mole spice blend
- 1/2 tsp aji spice optional (see note below if using)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 med chicken thighs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 med chayote peeled & coarsely chopped
- 1 med Roma tomato coarsely chopped
- 6 oz asparagus cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tsp masa harina this is to thicken; masa is not low carb but it is only 2 tsp. Omit if desired
- Preheat oven to broil. Place peeled tomatillos, quartered onions, and garlic cloves on baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Turn vegetables and broil on other side another 5 min (or until charred).
- Let vegetables cool a bit. When they are cool enough to handle, place roasted vegetables in food processor and puree until smooth. Add 3 tsp mole spice blend to processor and puree until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- In a large pot, add chicken broth, chicken thighs and salt and bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Add chopped chayote, tomato and asparagus to pot that chicken is in and cook another 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken and let cool a bit. At this point you can add the masa and whisk in thoroughly while simmering if you want a thicker stew. It tastes great without the masa, but it is a thinner broth. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it or cut it away from the bone and add back to the pot.
- Pour the reserved mole mixture into a small pot and heat until warm. Stir in some water if mole is thicker than you like it.
- To serve: dish chicken and vegetables and broth into a bowl and spoon the mole sauce over it.
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