Chicken Skewers with Quick Molé Sauce

Marinating the chicken in the sauce makes it deliciously succulent. For a light meal, slide the chicken off the skewers onto a piece of crisp lettuce such as butter leaf and roll up like a wrap. You can substitute pork or flank steak for the chicken in this recipe.


Quick Molé Sauce (see below*)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (from 2 medium cloves)
1/3 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally into 2 thin cutlets, then sliced lengthwise into twelve 1-inch-wide strips
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Twelve 8-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes


Make the molé sauce*.  Then, in a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and oil.  Marinate the chicken strips in the soy sauce mixture for 15 minutes, or longer if you like, refrigerated, up to 1 hour.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Thread each chicken strip on a skewer, weaving the skewer in and out of the chicken strip to secure it.  Brush with the marinade.  Wrap foil around the exposed ends of the skewers to prevent burning, or place a strip of foil across one end of the grill and lay the exposed ends of the skewers on it.  Grill skewers for 3 to 4 minutes, turning only once, after about 2 minutes.  Serve 3 skewers per person with the molé sauce on the side.

*Quick Molé Sauce

Traditional molés have been served in Mexico, Central America, and South America for hundreds of years.  What distinguishes them is the normally extensive combination of ingredients and the slow cooking and that reduces the sauce to give it a deep flavor and color.  This is a quick variation for weeknight cooking.  The unsweetened chocolate is an authentic addition that provides richness, flavor color.  This sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated, and reheated when ready to use.

Makes about 2 cups


1 small onion, quartered
1/2 cup chili-style canned diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons peeled and finely chopped garlic (2 medium cloves)
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts (1 ounce)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, broken up or chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth


In the bowl of a food processor or in the container of a blender, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil and broth.  Blend until coarsely smooth.  Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Pour in the pureed mixture.  Let it cook for about a minute at this heat, then turn the heat to low and allow it to reduce slowly, stirring to prevent burning.  Cook 5 minutes, then beat in the chicken broth.  Raise heat and cook on medium-high until heated through, about 3 minutes more.  Serve hot, drizzled over and alongside the chicken skewers.

Before slicing chicken into strips, place the cutlets between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them flatter, being careful not to tear the meat. This makes the chicken even more tender.    » more
Plastic sealable bags are great for marinating meats in the refrigerator and help save time on clean up. To redistribute the marinade, simply flip the bag over.    » more
Recipe by Jennifer Bushman, Kitchen Coach™ founder of Nothing to It! Culinary Center in Reno, NV, and author of “Weeknight Cooking: Inspiration, Know-how, and Simple Recipes for Busy Cooks” by Wiley Publishing, Inc.    » more
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