Choco-Spice Chicken Stew

This is a rich and spicy chicken stew perfect for a cold winters days, and it doesn’t take long to cook. If you’ve never used chocolate in a stew or casserole you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the depth and warmth of the meal.

Choco-Spice Chicken Stew
Recipe type: Stew
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 115 g bacon, diced
  • 1.3 kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or use 8 assorted chicken pieces)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 serrano chilli, stemmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1½ cups red wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 40 g baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and bacon; cook until the bacon is browned and crisp (about 5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a plate, .
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, and sprinkle all over with the salt. Add the chicken (skin-side down) to the pan and cook for 8 - 10 minutes until browned and the skin is crisp. Turn the pieces and brown on the reverse side for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, garlic and chillies to the pan, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the allspice and smoked paprika and cook a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and deepened in colour (about 2 minutes more).
  6. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce slightly.
  7. Add the chicken stock and then whisk in the chopped chocolate.
  8. Settle in the browned chicken pieces, skin-side down, and sprinkle with the bacon. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes, turning the chicken pieces halfway through.
  9. Remove the chicken to a platter to rest. Meanwhile, whisk the butter and agave nectar into the sauce. Stir in the peas, then spoon the stew over the chicken pieces.
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