Grilled Duck
Breasts with Mole

Mole colorado is an oaxacan specialty made with ancho chile, seeds, and spices. This combination of flavors seamlessly creates a rich mole. If grilled duck smothered in mole sauce doesn’t wake your taste buds, we’re not sure what will.

  • Serves
    4 PEOPLE
  • prep
    45 MIN
    45 MIN
  • Skill

Ingredients List

  • 6 or 7 dried ancho chiles (about 3½ ounces), stemmed and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as expeller pressed canola oil
  • ¾ cup diced canned fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 slices (about 2 ounces total) firm white bread, toasted, torn
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch each, ground: black pepper, cloves
  • ¼ cup Modelo Negra®
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 boneless duck breasts with skin, about 2 pounds
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Tear seeded chiles into large pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add a few chile pieces at a time and toast them briefly in the oil until they start to change color, about 30 seconds. Remove with tongs to a blender. Repeat to toast all chile pieces. Reserve the pan with the oil.
  2. Add tomatoes, bread, onion, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves to the blender with the chiles. Add 1 ½ cups hot water. Blend until a very smooth puree. Strain the puree through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  3. Return the oily saucepan to medium heat and heat until hot. Add the strained chile mixture. Cook and stir (be careful, as mixture will splatter) until mixture thickens and becomes a deep red color, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2 ¼ cups water and the Modelo Negra. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring often, until mixture thickens to the consistency of cream sauce, about 20 minutes. Season with sugar and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Keep warm. (Sauce can be made a few days in advance; reheat and season again before serving).
  5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pat duck dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add duck, skin side down. Cook until skin is nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn duck breasts over and brown on the other side for 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to oven; cook until medium-rare, about 4 minutes.
  6. Transfer duck to serving plates. Serve topped with plenty of the warm mole sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  7. Substitute skin-on, boneless chicken breast halves for the duck breasts.