Nope, you didn't read that wrongly. That's right. For tonight's dinner, Hadi served up CHOCOLATE chicken. Literally. Its not just chocolate-coloured chicken, but CHOCOLATE chicken. Yes. CHOCOLATE with chicken. No, you're not the only one thinking that.
Now, chocolate with chilli is a fairly common combination. It is something I want to try, as the chilli is supposed to give a nice kick to the chocolate. Mexicans use that combination often as well, apparently. In fact, this is where Hadi's dish today hails from. So yes, he did follow a proper recipe and yes, it IS a proper dish. But will our tastebuds be able to handle CHOCOLATE with chicken? Let's find out, shall we? Here we go~!
What you need:
3 chicken thighs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
480mL chicken stock
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (he used whole)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon anise seed (he used STAR anise, THREE of them -_-;;)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons crushed chilli flakes
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (he used paprika, since we were out)
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and brown on all sides.
- Remove the chicken to a baking dish and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and fry until softened, the stir in the tomatoes and sugar, and cook gently for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock to the frying pan, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the cocoa to 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and mix to form a paste. Add cloves, cinnamon, anise seed, salt, pepper, chili and cayenne and blend well.
- Stir the spice mixture into the simmering sauce mixture, mix well and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, cover and bake for 1-1/2 hours until the chicken is very tender. Serve hot.
The whole time it was cooking in the oven, it smelled agonizingly like chocolate chip cookies. Yet, underneath the chocolatey smell was a roast chicken smell. Separately, these are two of my favorite smells. But to put them together.... well, needless to say, it was a rather odd combination. But the real test was to come when the chicken was cooked. Yep, time to eat it. ;) Sorry for the rather blurry photo, but you can see that it really has a chocolatey colour. Gulp!
At first, no one wanted to have a bite. I was "trying" to get more sauce on the chicken, Justin was "serving" the rice while Hadi "wasn't really all that hungry anyway". There's just something about the idea of chocolate flavoured chicken that makes one lose their appetite, I have to admit. But we eventually steeled ourselves up. Hadi was first, closely followed by me. (Justin - the big baby! - didn't eat it until we gave our opinions :P)
To my surprise, it really wasn't all that bad. It was a bit strange tasting, and slightly bitter (from the star anise, a mistake on Hadi's part!) but it tasted nothing like chocolate. Apart from that though, the chicken was more than edible. Though no one dared touch the chocolate sauce after an initial tasting, hahaha. :D
Justin said that the star anise flavour was very strong, which might have drowned out the chocolate flavour. He also complained about the amount of washing involved with this dish (boy, he is just full of complaints today, hahaha). I pointed out that they managed to eat Hadi's Chicken of Death plus his Chicken Cake as well. He countered by saying that with those two dishes, there was at least the slim hope that the dish might be good. Hahaha. Excuses. I personally think that this was slightly better that the Chicken Cake. Only slightly, mind you. :P But there's a bit of psychological bias for this dish, I think. Our minds just can't accept that chocolate will go with chicken. So we refuse to think that it tastes good. Or so my theory goes... :P The boys don't accept it, meh.
So now, the three least edible dinners all go to Hadi, ahahaha. Let's just hope the poor boy doesn't get depressed from this dubious honour.
(And to those of you who are worried, no, he is not. :P I asked him multiple times, hahaha)
Quote of the day: Gourmet /n./ Anyone whom, when you fail to finish something strange or revolting, remarks that it's an acquired taste and that you're leaving the best part.