These mole chicken wings are first marinated in tequila lime making them tender, juicy and savory sweet with every bite. Totally worth the effort! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
“Mmmmm…” mumbled AJ with his eyes wide open and a big grin on his face when he took a bite of my most recent wing recipe. Chicken Wings Week has taken a toll on us and I was fearful that he and I would be burnt out on wings. In fact, at one point I turned to him and asked if he thought I should just post a recipe for buffalo wings. Not that buffalo wings are bad, but the recipe is pretty basic – fry the wings and cover them with Frank’s hot sauce mixed with butter. You don’t mess with a classic. But there are a million recipes out there for buffalo wings on the internet (try my friend Elise’s version over at Simply Recipes) and lets face it, it’s not really something I had much interest in blogging about. Then I offered AJ my other idea, mole chicken wings marinated in tequila lime. AJ’s eyes light up and I knew that’s what I was making.
Now the idea of marinating chicken in tequila isn’t new. Nor is making mole chicken. But making wings with that combination? I haven’t really seen that around too much. Luckily I had a bottle or two of tequila floating around from my photoshoot with BevMo! They are always kind enough to leave me a few bottles to play with in the kitchen afterwards. Add some fresh lime juice and your wings are ready to play.
Of course, making mole sauce from scratch always seems like a bit of a project. I’m sure you can probably just buy the sauce pre-made in a jar, but trust me when I say it’s worth the effort. The ingredient list for the recipe may seem long but there are only a few specialty items that you need to get from the store. Otherwise you probably already have everything in your cupboard to tackle these wings. So don’t be afraid to make these wings! They’re worth the effort.
Be sure to visit Eat the Love all this week. I’ll be posting a new chicken wings recipe each day from Monday, January 20th to Friday, January 24, 2014.
Special thanks to BevMo! For providing a bottle of Tres Generaciones Plata tequila for me to play around with in the kitchen. I wasn’t monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions stated above are my own.
Mole Chicken Wings Marinated in Tequila Lime
By Irvin Lin
For those unfamiliar with mole sauce, it’s a slighty sweet and spicy Mexican sauce made with chiles and chocolate. The ingredients list for the mole sauce looks pretty long but most of the ingredients are fairly common and can be found at a regular grocery store or you may already have them in your cupboard. Don’t be scared by it because the recipe itself is fairly straightforward, despite the long list of ingredients. The only thing that may prove more difficult to track down are the chiles. If you have access to a Mexican or Latin American grocery store, that’s your best bet on finding the chiles. Otherwise, you can buy them online from someplace like Spice Rack.
Inspired by an Emeril Lagasse recipe and Bon Appetit recipe.
1 cup tequila
6 medium garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
4 lbs chicken wings, broken into drummettes and flats, tips removed and discard or saved for stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 medium garlic cloves, squeezed through a press or finely minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
6 oz tomato paste
6 medium (3 oz) dried Pasilla chiles, de-stemmed and chopped into 1/2” pieces
4 large (1 oz) dried Guajillo chiles, de-stemmed and chopped into 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup golden raisins (substitute regular if you don’t have golden)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
zest from 1 medium orange
juice from 1 medium orange (about 1/3 cup)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 3.1 oz tablet of Mexican chocolate, chopped into 1/2 chunks
1. Make the marinade by placing the tequila in a bowl and juicing the limes into the tequila. Squeeze the garlic cloves through a garlic press (or mince finely) and add most of the cilantro (saving about a tablespoon for garnishing the finished wings). Place the wings in a large gallon ziplock bag and pour the marinade into it. Squeeze out as much air as you can, then seal the bag and “massage” the chicken to evenly distribute the marinade. Place the bag in a large bowl and refrigerate.
2. Make the mole sauce by heating the oil in a large sauté pan or pot on medium high. Add the chopped onions and cook until the onions are golden yellow, about five minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the almonds, garlic, cumin, coriander, black pepper, oregano, salt and cloves. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chopped chiles, raisins, sesame seeds, orange zest, orange juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. While the mole sauce is simmering, go to the refrigerate and “massage” the chicken again to get the marinated mixed up in the bag.
3. Once the mole has cooked, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir to mix the chocolate then cover it, leaving the pan off the heat, for 15 minutes for the chocolate to melt. Stir once the 15 minutes is up to incorporate the chocolate.
4. While the chocolate is melting, preheat the oven to 400˚F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking oil. Once the mole sauce is ready, spoon it into a food processor and turn it on to puree the sauce, this will take two or three minutes. The sauce should be the consistency of thick BBQ sauce or ketchup. If it isn’t, add a little water to the sauce, one tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency.
5. Place half the sauce in a large bowl (reserving the other half in the processor bowl). Remove the chicken from the bag (leaving the marinate in the bag) placing it in the bowl with the sauce. Using a large spatula or spoon toss the chicken with the mole sauce until coated. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheets. Throw away the marinade and any leftover mole sauce in the bowl that touched the raw chicken. Bake the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and flip all the chicken over and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
6. Once the chicken wings are cooled slightly, pour the reserve mole sauce in a large clean bowl and add the hot chicken wings. Toss gently to coat the chicken and sprinkle with the reserve chopped cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
Makes 24-32 medium-sized wings, enough for 8-12 people as appetizers.
If you like these mole chicken wings, try these other Mexican chicken recipes from around the web:
What’s Gaby Cooking’s Mexican Shredded Chicken
Shutterbean’s Mexican Chicken Soup
Fannetastic Food’s Mexican Lasagna Recipe
Gimme Some Oven’s Chicken Enchilada Cups
Honest Cooking’s Mexican Style Roast Chicken
Now these wings are perfect for us — I love that ingredient list for the mole. Thinking I wouldn’t tired of wings — any of those you’ve posted — for a while. My fingers might be permanently day glo orange, but…
Question: Does the recipe call for fresh or dried chiles? I have fresh pasilla but dry Guajillo.
Hi Ken, Sorry I didn’t respond earlier but I used dry chiles for both. Not sure how it would turn out with fresh Pasilla chiles but I think it would be fine!
Anne @fANNEtasticfood says
Thanks for the link love 🙂
Ok, the recipe is great. A lot of work in the prepping but it’s my therapy. I am happy I have a Mexican store nearby. All said my wife is happy.
I made this last night and it came out so well! Great recipe! A few variations I did – didn’t add the mole sauce until after the chicken wings were cooked so that they’d get really crispy. I used a can of green chilis and dash of cayenne pepper since I didn’t have the listed peppers. Lastly I used some pine nuts since I didn’t have sesame seeds.