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Howard

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RCP / IOTM: bluebery chocolate chile chicken

by Howard » Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:59 pm

I was inspired by Robin's savory blueberry sauce but I was in the mood for mexican rather than asian so here's what I did:

Blueberry chocolate chile chicken

Olive oil to cover the pan
3 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion - chopped
1 8 oz can diced muir glen tomatoes
4 -5 sprigs lemon thyme from the garden
1/4 tsp chopped fresh chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
2 dried ancho chiles (chopped) rehydrate with hot water and keep the water
1 cup fruity slightly sweet red wine
1 1/2 oz guittard 72% bittersweet couverture chocolate wafers
2 cups cleaned dry blueberries

Heat the EVOO, just a thin layer, salt and pepper the chicken thighs and brown them 2-3 minutes on a side. Remove the chicken to a bowl, deglaze with a little broth or a couple of table spoons of wine and add to the chicken. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the onions. Cook until they start to soften, then add the tomatoes and their juices. Cook until almost dry then add the cumin, thyme, rosemary and chopped anchos. (I was cooking for a heat averse crowd, otherwise I would have added one or two chipotles or guajillos). Cook for just a minute or two then add the ancho rehydrating liquid after straining any debris from it. Reduce almost completely, then add the chocolate, stirring constantly to melt and mix without burning. Once melted, add the wine and blueberries. Bring it up to a boil and add the chicken back in. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Check to make sure the chicken is done, remove it to a serving platter and keep it warm while the sauce reduces and thickens. Check the sauce for salt and pepper and correct if necessary.

I served this over a lightly flavored saffron brown rice and it was very nice. Kind of a mock mole sauce, I guess. The blueberries lost a lot of their distinctive blueberriness but they were definitely present as a fruity accent in a very complex, satisfying sauce. I added some crushed chili flakes to my portion.

The wine was very unusual (for me anyway):

2003 Tenuta La Meridiana Vigneto del Malaga This was sweet and slightly frizzante but an unbelievably perfect match - even with the crushed pepper flakes.
Howard
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Robin Garr

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Re: RCP / IOTM: bluebery chocolate chile chicken

by Robin Garr » Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:13 am

Sounds wonderful, Howard! Now that I've got Mary somewhat rehabilitated about fruit and meat, I might try this one. :)

As for that frizzante with hot peppers, I'm not at all surprised ... I've always argued that one of the best of all wine matches with five-pepper Thai food and the equivalent is Lambrusco. The combination of sweetness and bubbles seems to scrub the capsaicin more effectively than any other wine.

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