For a long time I have been tempted by the idea of making a stew with cocoa or chocolate in it. You might think my experiments with cocoa pasta might have put me off but not at all. When Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog announced that this month We Should Cocoa would have the theme, sugar free, I knew it was my chance to finally push myself to make a proper savoury cocoa dish. After all, the pasta contained hidden sugar, but if I made a stew I would know exactly what was in it and there would be no chance of being surprised by an unwanted sweet chocolate taste.
This time, my savoury cocoa dish really was savoury and I enjoyed it so much. The cocoa gave the tomato base for the stew a richer flavour with just a hint of bitterness. There wasn’t an obvious chocolate flavour. If you didn’t know it had cocoa in, you might not even guess, and I suspect that that is what most people want from a savoury cocoa dish. An added layer of flavour but not an overpowering hit.
As well as We Should Cocoa, which is hosted on alternate months by Chele at Chocolate Teapot, I am also linking this to My Kitchen My World (the theme is anywhere) and Bloggers Around the World at Cooking Around the World. The theme this month is Mexico.
Ingredients – serves 2-3
250g chicken, diced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli pepper, sliced
Handful of Coriander (cilantro), chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cocoa powder
How to Make Mexican Chicken Stew
1. Heat a little oil in a sauce pan. Add the onion and chilli pepper and cook until soft. Add the red pepper and crushed garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
2. Add the chicken. Cook until it is sealed on all sides, then stir in the cocoa, cumin, cloves and tomatoes. Add a dash of water and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. A few minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the spring onion and just before serving, stir in the chopped coriander.
4. Serve with rice or flatbreads.