Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some cocoa with your chicken?

Ok so the first 'savory' recipe I tried from the 'Cocoa in Cooking and Baking' section of this cookbook wasn't as good as I had hoped. : ( Some of you may have been skeptical about using chocolate or cocoa in cooking of your savory dishes, but I have had savory dishes with chocolate before and it was amazing (duck with a chocolate sauce... fantastic). So I went into this spice rub with cocoa for chicken with high hopes. But some how the final product wasn't what I was expecting. I blame this partly on the recipe and do have to own up to some of it's unsuccessfulness myself.

First the original recipe was for a whopping 2 cups of the spice mix. Um I certainly did not have enough chicken to use this much spice mix and since I had never tried this recipe before did not want to have a whole bucket full of wasted spices if the recipe did not work out. So I (as carefully as I could) reduced the recipe in half and then in half again. I reworked my calculations twice to make sure I had them right but I was making this dinner pretty late at night after a long day and I was tired and hungry so who knows what could have happened. Second, even with the double halved recipe I did not have enough chili powder on hand.

The end result was a pretty bland chicken despite all the spices listed in the seasoning mix. Like I said probably partially my fault for running out of chili powder but then again when I went back and looked at the original recipe and the proportions for each spice the cocoa seemed to be a little bit 'heavier' on the pour compared to the rest of the ingredients. So the final product wasn't bad per say it just wasn't a spicy 'tex-mex' chicken that I thought it was going to be.

Notes: The recipe below is my reduced version of this spice mix, enough to season approximately 4 chicken breasts or 6-8 drumsticks. I have included the amount of chili powder the recipe calls for but have reduced the cocoa powder. Also the original recipe is just for the spice mix, so I have included instructions for preparing the spice mix with chicken.

Let's hope the remainder of the recipes from this book are good. Maybe I WILL just have to go on a sweet binge for the next week and eat chocolate as it should be... for dessert!


Tex-Mex Spice Rubbed Chicken
Printable Version
Prep Time: 12-15 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Serves: 4

2 tablespoons HEATH BITS 'O BRICKLE Toffee Bits
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/2 tablespoon HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 tablespoon coffee beans

3 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken breasts or 6-8 chicken drumsticks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place toffee bits in food processor or blender. Cover; process until toffee bits are very fine.

Combine toffee and remaining spice ingredients in medium bowl; blend well. Melt butter and pour over chicken. Rub spice mix into chicken. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until done. Place any leftover spice rub in airtight container. Store in cool dry place for up to four months.

adapted from Hershey's

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