Thursday, January 10, 2013

Savoury Chocolate Chicken

      I'm back! Well, I never disappeared. I just haven't been cooking anything inspiring enough to write about. Yesterday, however, I tried a recipe for chocolate chicken. It is similar to chicken mole, which is a Mexican dish prepared with a few types of chillies, spices and chocolate.

      It wouldn't take a genius to figure out that I am pretty-much addicted to chocolate. Maybe it's the sugar, maybe it's the endorphins that it releases. Whatever it is, I thought I should finally try a savoury dish that includes chocolate. I based my version of the dish on this recipe and made some adjustments to the ingredients and method. It is, of course, low in fat (as are most of my main dish recipes).

      I must say that though the results were far from disappointing, this chicken dish might be an acquired taste. After all, the description by the author of the original recipe above is that it tastes like a cross between rendang and satay sauce. That's really not far from how I would personally describe it. It's like a curry, but not a curry. It is hard to describe in definite terms, but be forewarned that my husband wasn't a huge fan of this dish. He didn't feel that the flavours worked together harmoniously. I, on the other hand, rather enjoyed the texture and exotic flavour! I served this with mashed potatoes, though in hindsight, rice would have been a better option.

      If you are looking for something different to cook for a poultry main dish and bear in mind that some people will love this dish while others might not, have yourself a kitchen adventure by trying this recipe!

Savoury Chocolate Chicken
serves 4 (easily halved)

Cooking spray or vegetable oil
700g chicken breast

1 chicken stock cube
1 cup hot water

40g almonds (or almond meal)
20g white sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper

2 small or 1 big onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 TBSP tomato puree
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

25g dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp cocoa powder

1. Crumble the stock cube into the hot water, stir to dissolve then leave aside to cool.
2. Blend the almonds and sesame seeds together till crumbly and almost powdery. Stir in the cinnamon, ground coriander and pepper.
3. Blend the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and tomato puree together till it is a smooth mixture. Mix the chilli flakes into the tomato mixture.
4. Heat a sauté pan and brown the chicken using oil or cooking spray. You might have to do this in 2 batches.
5. While the chicken is browning, stir the cornflour and cocoa powder into the cooled chicken stock mixture.
6. Remove the browned chicken from the pan and pour the blended tomato mixture into the hot pan.
7. When the mixture has come to the boil, add the chicken stock mixture and bring to the boil again.
8. Now add the ground almond, sesame and spice mixture into the pan and stir, then add the chopped chocolate.
9. When the chocolate has melted, add the browned chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce.
10. Put a lid on the pan and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring periodically.
When chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened to your liking, turn off the heat and serve!

Served with boiled or steamed rice and a side of vegetables, this makes a very hearty meal!

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