Are you intrigued? A little scared maybe? Trust us...this is gooood chili. Aaron, the reader, is a big fan of alliteration, so when he heard the title he was thrilled to nickname this one "Ch Ch Ch Chili" - (and you can say it like the Chia Pet commercial if you like). So, I kid you not...Chocolate is a magical enhancer of flavor when it comes to chili! Get rid of the idea of a Hershey Bar. We're talking about chocolate in its more natural form. Think of it along the lines of cinnamon. If you taste cinnamon right out of the spice jar, or if you licked a stick of it, there is nothing sweet about it. It's a spice. But when you add sugar, vanilla and butter and all that stuff...you've got yourself some snickerdoodle cookies. So chocolate is the same thing. It's like a man before he meets the perfect woman. All of his best qualities are brought out only after living closely with this amazing gal. (wait...are we still talkin about chocolate or am I venting a bit?? ; ) ) Well, cocoa powder, or a block of unsweetened dark chocolate can easily be used as a spice...no candy or cookie or cake involved! Follow me?
There is a Mexican restaurant La Tapatia in Asbury Park, NJ that we love. And one of our favorite dishes there has a mole sauce. (please imagine the tilde above the e in mole so as to not confuse it with the adorably nearsighted subterranean dwellers)...Now, until Alton Brown did a break down on Mole', we assumed what many others did...that all mole sauces contain chocolate. Well its not the case...but it is the case most of the time. Anyway, this chili is a little nod to those flavors.
We had been talking about doing a Mole' style sauce the other day while we were at Costco stocking up on pecans, walnuts, hot sauce, spinach, and grabbing one of their big and underpriced rotisserie chickens. So we got home and concocted a meal that tied in chocolate and also attended to our craving for some good chili. And oh my gosh! No seriously...it was so so delicious! And even better the next day! Holy Crow man! Aaron says it was the best chili he had ever had! And my brother Walt...the manly man who blasts country music whilst covered in grease, mud, Carhartt and Dickies...well he was licking his spoon upon finishing a giant bowl.
Ok so are you feeling brave? Trust us? C'mon...live a little! Let's party!
Here's what you will need:
1 rotisserie chicken shredded (or 3 breasts)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion diced
3-4 teaspoons garlic chopped
3 teaspoons Ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter chili)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
dash salt & dash pepper
2 chipotles in adobo sauce chopped (with 1 teaspoon of the sauce)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (28 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 can (15 oz) black beans (rinsed & drained)
1 1/2 cups chopped peppers (we used a variety of red, yellow and orange)
2 oz (2 baking squares) chopped unsweetened chocolate
fresh chopped cilantro
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced green onion
First things first, gather up your ingredients. Do your chopping, measuring, rinsing, draining...
Shred your chicken in a large bowl, put to the side. We used the aforementioned rotisserie from Costco.
In a large pot or dutch oven, add your tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium. Then add your onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent and begin to caramelize. Should take about 25 mins.
Now add your chicken, tomatoes, beans, peppers, chipotles in adobo sauce, brown sugar, and all of your spices. Mix really well to incorporate all of the flavors. Cook (covered) about 10 mins. stirring occasionally.
Then, add your chicken broth and stir well. Let it cook about 8-10 mins. (Here is where both Aaron and I took a "before" taste to really get an idea of how much the soon-to-be-added chocolate enhances the flavor of the dish)
Then, stir in your chocolate! It's actually kind of exciting (so what if I live a somewhat under stimulated life) Anyway...stir it in...with a big smile on your face! Now cover and let it cook another 30 mins or so. Or until it reduces and reaches your desired thickness.
Now serve it up!! Topped with your cheddar cheese, diced avocado, green onions, and cilantro...or whatever your fave chili toppings may be!
And like I said before...this is even better the next day! And don't be a lazy bones on day 2...don't just micro yourself an unadorned bowl...please chop up them fresh toppings for the full flavor experience! ha!
We really hope you guys give it a shot!
xo Jenny and Aaron