Pollo with chocolate

Pollo with chocolate

By
From
Catalonia
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Chocolate is well used in Catalan cooking, o€en to thicken sauces. This type of sauce is called a picada. Normally you use dried fruit, garlic and parsley. You might think it’s crazy, but I have a great recipe where I add chocolate to prawns that are sautéed with chilli and garlic. Yum!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for frying
1 large free-range chicken
2 onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
100ml white wine
100ml vino rancio
2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 bouquet garni, tied
or a bunch herbs, tied, (e.g. fresh thyme sprigs, bay leaf, parsley stalks and oregano)
1 cinnamon stick
900ml fresh chicken stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the picada

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for frying
80g stale white bread, cut into small pieces
1 garlic clove
1 chicken liver
pinch saffron threads
small handful chopped parsley
20g grated dark chocolate
30g hazelnuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Heat a layer of oil in a large casserole dish and brown the chicken all over. Remove and set aside. Add the onions to the dish and fry for 10 minutes until so€ftened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more then splash in the white wine and vino rancio and cook for 2–3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, bouquet garni, cinnamon and stock. Season well and bring to the boil. Return the chicken to the dish and cover. Cook in the oven for 1–1 1/2 hours until really tender.
  4. Meanwhile, make the picada. Heat a li¢le oil in a pan and fry the bread, garlic and chicken liver for 2–3 minutes. Tip into a food processor or pestle and mortar. Soak the saffron for a few minutes in 50 ml of boiling water then add this to the bread mixture with the parsley, chocolate and hazelnuts. Whiz or pound to a paste.
  5. When the chicken is cooked (the juices will run clear when you pierce the thickest part with a skewer), remove from the oven and li€ the bird onto a plate to rest. Put the casserole dish over a medium heat and add the picada to the sauce. Whisk together and bubble until the sauce is thickened. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.
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