The [trademarked chocolate and peanut butter confection] Challenge. For the last few weeks I have been constrained by trying to make things suit a particular cuisine. With just an ingredient challenge I am free to go whole “California Fusion.” To mix and match flavors and techniques with only one constraint–it should all taste good when I’m done.
The most obvious place to go with chocolate and peanuts would be a mole, but we have had two weeks of really spicy food. With a name like “Voodoo” stout, Jamaican Jerk comes to mind, but again very spicy. Thai peanut sauce come to mind, but would putting chocolate in it fit?
I finally found my solution for my main dish on Dining Alone. She had adapted a Rachael Ray recipe that dusted turkey with cocoa powder and salt before roasting it. She followed the recipe fairly closely, but I plan to take the bit in my teeth and run with it. I plan to keep the cocoa power, and peanuts and a technique or two, but this really just gave me a kick in the right direction.
After dinner note: This was amazing chicken.
Karl’s Chicken Cacao with Peanuts and Mango
1 Whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1 Tbs. orange zest
2 Tbs. peanut oil
3 Tbs. cocoa power, unsweetened (Dagoba or Scharffen Berger’s)
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1 green mango, cut in slices
¼ cup orange juice, fresh
¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped fine
2 Tbs. Raw cacao nibs
1. Sprinkle the orange zest over the chicken pieces and rub it into the meat.
2. Take the oil and rub it all over the chicken pieces.
3. Sprinkle the cocoa, pepper and salt on every side and put the chicken in a gallon plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
4. Pre-heat oven to 450°F for 15 minutes.
5. Arrange the chicken in a large oven proof skillet (or a roasting pan) in a single layer.
6. Reduce heat to 375°F and roast for 50-60 minutes.
7. While the chicken is roasting, prep the green mango. Mangoes have a large flat seed.
a. The easiest way to deal with this is to cut flat across the large end of the mango.
b. Stand it up right with the small end pointing up.
c. Take large downward slices off of each side of the seed.
d. Any wandering child or spouse will be happy to make sure that the fruit that remains around the seed does not go to waste.
e. Remove the skin from the large mango pieces and cut them pole to pole into 3/8 inch thick slices.
8. When the chicken is done, remove it to a serving platter and tent with foil while making the sauce.
9. Place the skillet on a medium burner and add the mango slices. Fry on each side until slightly browned. Remove to a plate when done.
10. Add the orange juice to the skillet. Scrape the fond free and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened.
11. Toast the peanuts and cacao nubs in a small pan for two minutes over a medium heat.
12. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle evenly with the peanuts and nibs.