Chicken with Pumpkin Mole Sauce

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Our pumpkin mole sauce puts a harvest-inspired spin on a classic Latin sauce by combining pumpkin and pepitas with cocoa, chiles and warm spices. For a super-quick supper, simply combine the sauce with browned chicken thighs and then simmer. Here, however, we’ve dressed it up with chunks of fresh pumpkin and crunchy pepitas to create a beautiful yet easy one-pot dish that will turn heads at an autumn dinner party.


  • 4 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. (500 g) pumpkin or winter squash, such as kabocha, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) chunks
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 2 1/4 lb. (1 kg) total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jar (15.5 oz./439 g) pumpkin mole simmer sauce
  • 1 lemon, quartered (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish


In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the pumpkin and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is slightly tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pumpkin pieces to a plate and set aside.

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In the same pan, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and pour off the excess fat in the pan.

Return the chicken, skin side up, to the pan and add the simmer sauce. Return the pumpkin to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes.

Garnish with lemon quarters and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle with the pepitas and parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

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