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Recipe: Cocoa and Chilli Chicken


Combining chocolate and chilli is a tradition that’s been around for nearly 5,000 years, since the Mayans mixed the two and started what may have been the first food trend. Nowadays many chefs are used to adding a square or two of dark chocolate to chilli con carne or even spaghetti Bolognese to give it extra depth. But this one-pot-wonder, Venezulean chocolate chilli chicken, from master chocolatier Paul A Young, bucks the trend – pairing chocolate with chicken, and a range of zesty flavours and spices like coriander seeds, orange juice and mulato chillies. We think this is perfect for an alfresco dinner with friends or as a substitute to the usual midweek chilli/stir-fry/pasta rota. Serve with some rustic sourdough bread or with wild rice and a large salad.


467 per serving


3.3g per serving


10 minutes


30 minutes


4 banana shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp light olive oil

4 organic chicken thighs

4 organic chicken drumsticks

Juice and zest of 3 oranges

3 fresh red chillies, finely diced

2 tsp dried mulato chillies (or any other mild chillies)

1 tbsp coriander seeds

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

150g Venezuelan dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Bunch of coriander leaves (about 25g)


STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.

STEP 2: In a casserole dish, sauté the shallots and the garlic in the olive oil, then add the whole chicken pieces and brown them on all sides. Add the orange juice and zest, fresh and dried chillies, coriander seeds, tomatoes and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Pop on the lid and cook the dish in the oven for 20 minutes.

STEP 3: Remove the dish from the oven, lift out the chicken pieces 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.

From Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young (£14.99, Kyle Books)


Wine expert Jane Parkinson on what to uncork for dinner

"You need a ballsy red wine with a sauce this rich, even if the meat is white. This is a gorgeous, vibrant Chilean Syrah with lush cherry and spice flavours which will complement that full-on combination of chocolate, garlic and chilli in the stew"

Cerro Syrah, Choapa Valley, Chile 2008, £7.99, Marks & Spencer, marksandspencer.com



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