[*I almost named this dish after a male chicken, but then realized that might start attracting people in search of something very different.]
So, today in the Shed Kitchen, I decided to go with an easy weeknight recipe that incorporates two of the healthy dark foods we’ve been talking about this week: chocolate and black beans! Who knew the two could go together so well?!
Turns out, cocoa beans have their origins in South America, so cocoa is great in Mexican dishes — think chocolate mole. Although chocolate mole isn’t that complicated to make, I decided to bastardize it a bit with a recipe from Hershey’s. And I’m busy, so I bastardized their recipe a bit further…I believe this recipe is now technically a “step bastard” or perhaps a “bastard recipe once removed.” Anyhow, it’s so easy and I already had all the ingredients in my pantry!
Chocolate Curry Chicken
Two 4-ounce chicken breasts, pounded flat
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup pinto beans (optional)
1/2 cup whole grain (like couscous, brown rice, or quinoa) prepared according to the package directions
2 cups diced bell peppers and onion
Crushed red pepper flakes
Combine olive oil and spices.
Rub onto chicken breasts (I put the chicken and the spice mixture in a Ziploc to do this). Put chicken on grill or bake for 20-25 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.
While chicken is cooking, prepare your choice of grain. Meanwhile, saute veggies and onions until they are crisp-tender; add beans for last 2 minutes of cooking. Add as much red pepper as you can handle. When chicken is done, serve it over the beans, veggies, and grain.
Top with salt and pepper and salsa and eat!
I made this in quite a rush, and I learned a few things for next time: first, I needed to rub the spices on more evenly, because one part of the chicken seemed to get the majority of the cocoa; luckily I was able to fix this for the most part once it was on the grill. I added a lot of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to my bowl, plus a healthy dose of salsa, because the veggies and couscous needed more seasoning. But I tasted the chicken before I added it to the bowl and it was good to stand on its own!
Using couscous was not ideal. I had brown rice, and I had quinoa — I don’t know why I didn’t use either of those! The couscous just kind of bitched out under the salsa. Also, you could definitely add some sliced avocado on top for healthy fat, and a “dollop” (GOD I HATE THE DAISY COMMERCIAL) of light sour cream.
As for the flava flav of the chicken…it’s good! It doesn’t taste like chocolate, exactly, because it’s so not sweet, but you can tell the chocolate is definitely there! It’s not too spicy, so if you like spice, add some crushed red pepper right to the marinade. It’s a really good change from the regular old cumin I usually use, and I’ll definitely make it again. The leftover chicken will be great in a salad with beans, peppers, jicama, corn, and Newman’s Own Lighten Up! Sun Dried Tomato Dressing.
Give it a try!!