No. Stinking. Freaking. Way. What are you thinking? Chocolate chi-- What?
I did some research, and I found a great brownie recipe (which will follow another day), but I wondered what to do for the main dish. I thought about a mole of some kind, and I started looking for recipes. I found, instead, a recipe for a chocolate-based barbecue sauce. Immediately, I thought of the cashew chicken I had done in the previous post. I would do a dredged, crispy fried chicken, and then dry-bake on the sauce!
Though many of the processes are the same as that last dish, there are a few differences, so I’ll write it out again.
Dutch Oven Chocolate Chicken
12” Dutch oven
20+ coals below for frying
10 coals below for baking
30+ coals above
8” Dutch oven
12+ coals below
2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breast tenders
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 1.5 oz. chocolate bar, broken into chunks
1 8ox can tomato sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp molasses
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp coffee grounds or powdered coffee substitute, like Pero
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
First of all, make sure that the chicken is fully thawed before you even start.
I started out, as I usually do, by firing up some coals. Once I had a few that were getting a bit white, I spread about 20 or more out on the table and put the 12” Dutch oven on it to preheat, with a few tbsp of olive oil in the bottom.
While the coals and the Dutch oven were getting ready, I prepared the chicken. I mixed the flour and spices in a bowl first of all. I was working with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so I sliced them into 1” strips and dredged them into the flour mix. I set them aside on a plate.
When the Dutch oven and the oil was hot, I put in the chicken to fry. I covered the bottom and still had only placed about half the chicken, so I did it in batches. I cooked the chicken about ten minutes or so and then turned each piece over using tongs. While the first batch was cooking I chopped up the onion and minced the garlic. When both sides were nice and crispy, and I could see that the insides were cooked through, I pulled them off, and put in the second batch. Somewhere in here, I also added in some fresh coals to the fire to get hot and ready.
While the second batch was cooking, I put my 8” on the coals and melted the butter. The onions and garlic went in with a little salt to sweat. Once those were translucent, the remaining ingredients went in to simmer and melt.
When the second batch of chicken strips were done, I pulled it off the coals and added in the first batch, with the lid on, to keep warm with the residual cast iron heat.
When the sauce was looking nice and smooth, I tasted it and adjusted it. I found my mix to be a little chocolate-heavy so I added in more mustard and vinegar. You can adjust it how you like. In the ingredients list above, I backed off on the cocoa a bit to compensate. I poured about half of the sauce over the chicken in the Dutch open and stirred it up to coat it over all of the pieces.
Finally, it was ready. I served it with a side of steamed veggies, and did the brownies for dessert. A chocolate day!
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.