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Spicy Chocolate Chicken

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces bacon, diced 

One 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

1 onion, chopped 

2 carrots, peeled and chopped 

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 

1 serrano chile, stemmed and halved 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1/2 teaspoon allspice 

1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)

1 1/2 cups red wine 

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 

1 1/2 ounces baking chocolate, chopped 

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature 

2 teaspoons agave nectar 

1 cup frozen peas, thawed 


  1. Heat a braiser or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and bacon; cook until the bacon is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate, using a slotted spoon.
  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 until golden brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and brown on the reverse side, an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, garlic and chiles to the pan, and cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the allspice and pimenton; cook another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and deepened in color, 2 minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the chicken broth and then whisk in the chopped chocolate. Nestle 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.
  4. 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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