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Sweet and smoky Mexican inspired chicken

Main Easy
Serves 6-8

Chocolate is just one of the many ingredients which go into a Mexican mole, together with chillies, dried fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. We've also gone chipotle-heavy in this mole-inspired recipe; the chilli mellows a bit during the cooking, but if you prefer less heat, just reduce the amount of chilli to taste. Serve with rice, slices of ripe avocado and soured cream, if you like. Serve with rice, slices of ripe avocado and soured cream, if you like.


2 medium red peppers
3 small cinnamon sticks, freshly ground (or, failing that, 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon)
4 chipotle chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained, seeds and stalks removed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2½ tbsp white wine vinegar 
2½ tsp soft brown sugar
75ml olive oil 
salt and black pepper
1.75kg whole chicken legs (ie with both drumsticks and thighs), skin-on
20g dark chocolate, finely grated 
650g baby maris peer potatoes (or other roasting potato), peeled and halved
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm x 6cm wedges
2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 200C/390F. Put the peppers on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, until the skin has blackened. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with cling-film and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, peel the peppers, and discard the skins, seeds and stalks. Put the pepper flesh in the small bowl of a food processor, and add the cinnamon, chilli, garlic, vinegar, sugar, three tablespoons of the oil, a teaspoon and half of salt and three tablespoons of water. Blitz for a minute, until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken legs and chocolate, and mix to coat.
  2. Put both types of potato in a separate large bowl with the onions, the remaining oil, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well, combine with the chicken, then tip everything on to a large 30cm x 40cm baking tray. Arrange the chicken skin-side up and roast for about 50 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked and nicely coloured. Serve at once, with coriander sprinkled on top.