Saturday, February 23, 2013

Experience Is Sometimes Misleading...


A couple of years ago I went to Madrid. I love Madrid, it is a beautiful city, and as a foodie I was never disappointed. There are not many things I don't like to eat and chocolate sure is not one of them! However, we went to a tapas restaurant and decided to try out the one covered in chocolate. Hang on let me rephrase this: we decided to try a savoury tapas covered in chocolate. It was then and there that I found out that it is inevitable to encounter certain tastes, or even combinations of tastes, that you don't like. It's just like that.
But then a couple of days ago I was presented with an epiphany! I encountered this recipe for chicken with chocolate. At fist I was like "EW" but then I thought I should get over it and it wasn't like this recipe called for pure chocolate sauce poured over a piece of grilled chicken. So I went for it, and I promise, this is worth going for! The dish takes some time to prepare, but it is bound to impress your guests! You do need a pan that can go into the oven with its lid. Something not unlike or exactly like a Creuset. I have a small brown one. Went well with the colour of the sauce.

I know it looks dodgy but in this case; don't judge a book by its covers ;)

What do you need? (this is enough for 4 people if you serve veg and potatoes with it)

- a tbsp of cocoa powder
- 4 entire chicken legs (not just the drumstick)
- 75cl red wine (preferably Merlot)
- a tablespoon of paprika powder.
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 4 crushed cloves of garlic
- a couple of sprigs of thyme
- a couple of bay leaves
- 1/2 tbsp of cumin seeds
- one chicken stock cube
- some plain flour
- salt & pepper
- sugar

What do you need to do? 

Okay, so get ready for some cooking and don't rush things!
First of all, divide the chicken legs at its natural joint (at the white soft bone). Do not splinter the bone. Place them in a tupperware or plastic sealable bag containing the paprika, some salt, pepper and olive oil. Make sure every piece of chicken is well covered with the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
After marinading, heat a big pan such as the ones I have mentioned before. Place the chicken in the pan together with the thyme, bay leaves and garlic. The garlic just needs to be crushed, as later you need to fish it out and it is easier to find whole pieces. Brown the pieces of chicken evenly on all sides. If your pan is too small, as it was in my case, do it in two batches. Remove everything from the pan.


Add the sliced red onions to the empty pan. When these have softened, add the cocoa powder and allow it to become a paste which sticks to the soft onions. Once this is the case, return the chicken with the herbs and the garlic to the pan. When all is settled, sprinkle some flour over the pieces of chicken. This will help thicken the sauce later on.


Stir in the wine and make sure the flour does not form any lumps. Add a tablespoon or two of plain white sugar to make sure the bitterness of the cocoa powder and the acidity of the wine do not overrule the dish. Also, at this point, add the chicken stock cube by crumbling it into the pan.
At this point, preheat the oven at 180°C.
Leave to simmer without covering until the sauce has thickened. Remove all impurities that float to the top. So basically when a little "skin" builds up, remove it with a spoon.



When it has become a less liquid and reduced slightly place the lid on and place it in the oven for around 40-60 minutes.
After cooking it in the oven the sauce should be nice and thick. Check it while it cooks and you can always add some more flour if you feel it is not


I served this dish with some potatoes on the side, however, I am not sure which veggies would go well with it. If you have any ideas, let me know! Hope you enjoy this, it really is a great dish.

*The original recipe is by chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, I just made some slight adaptations. No simmer times or oven temperatures are mentioned in the original recipe, these come from my own try-out.

If you have any questions, you can contact me through my Facebook page "Alicia's Kitchen Antics."





2 comments:

  1. Mmmmmh, I want to try! I'd serve it with glazed carots, navets, parnish, and... that potato purée with white chocolate I want to try for while ;-)
    Thanks for the nice recipe!

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    1. You should definitely try this recipe! Thanks for the veggie tips. It is a strong taste and it reminds me of a dish you would make with venison instead of chicken. :) Let me know how it turns out when you decide to make it! (Also the white chocolate puree intrigues me!)

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