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Venezuelan Chocolate Chile Chicken

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Serves 4

  • by Paul A. Young

There are very many versions of chocolate chile chicken, but I chose to include this one as it’s fantastically quick and easy to make. I can’t promise it’s authentic, but it does have the wow factor, and the Venezuelan chocolate adds a deep, rich, glossy finish and flavor.
 

  • 4 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. light olive oil
  • 4 organic chicken thighs
  • 4 organic chicken drumsticks
  • Juice and zest of 3 oranges 
  • 3 fresh red chiles, finely diced
  • 2 tsp. dried mulato chiles (or any other mild chiles)
  • 1 Tbs. coriander seeds
  • 400 grams canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. dark muscovado sugar
  • 150 grams Venezuelan dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Bunch of coriander leaves (about 25 g)

Heat the oven to 400°F.

In a casserole dish, sauté the shallots and the garlic in the olive oil, then add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the orange juice and zest, fresh and dried chiles, coriander seeds, tomatoes and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Pop on the lid and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, lift out the chicken and stir the chocolate into the remaining sauce. Serve with the sauce smothered over the chicken with generous amounts of chopped or torn coriander leaves.

Photo: Anders Schønnemann

I made this dish and thought it was fantastic! The flavors were perfect to me, not too sweet or too orangey as other reviewers have said. I couldn't find Venezuelan chocolate, but I used an 82% dark chocolate and it seemed to work perfectly. I used less than the recipe called for because of what some of the reviews said, but I wish I'd just used the whole bar. This dish may not be for everyone, but if it sounds good to you, I highly recommend making it. My very picky boyfriend with Midwestern "meat and potatoes" taste liked it better than I expected him to, although I doubt he'd request it in the future. But if he didn't hate it, it must have pretty broad appeal!

This recipe was going great and smelled fabulous until.......I added the chocolate. It ruined the dish.....it was way too chocolatey......I could not find the type of chocolate the recipe called for, so I used a bar that was 60% cocoa......evidently this was too sweet. It would be nice if an alternative or at least the percentage of cocoa could be suggested. I was quite disappointed, and yes that could have been my fault due to the type of chocolate I used.

this recipe was absolutely horrid. i've never tried such a fail of a recipe. i believe that it calls for WAY too much chocolate (perhaps cocoa powder would've been better) and i think that it would be best to leave the orange out completely. with the amount of chocolate it calls for, it hardly matters how much of any of the other spices you add, it absolutely consumes it and you will not taste your other spices. i ended up having to try to turn this into like a barbecue/sloppy joe (which was still a fail) by adding an entire can of chipotles in adobo sauce and barbecue sauce. did the creator of the recipe accidentally list the wrong volumes of each ingredient? anyhow, i'd say this is an unsalvageable recipe that wasted some expensive ingredients.

I loved this recipe. First-- it is extra easy to make, second-- it's exotic, third--- it is delightfully rich. I made this for my anniversary. My husband bought some nice red qine so I wanted to make a dish that went with the wine. Since i don't like red meat I thought that chocolate would be a perfect match. And it was, it matched perfectly. My only complaint is that some of the indgedients are difficult to fined, but finding substitutes are easy and still taste great. If you want something different and delicious make this recipe.

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