Cocoa-Chili Chicken | Tahini Sweet Potatoes

This spice blend is the perfect example of trial(s) and error. I made a prototype version two years ago,  but got a little discouraged by the initial result.  Back then,  I tried to use it as a dry rub, and if it wasn’t burning up before the meat had cooked, it was literally flaking off once I tried to slice the meat. I had to try to remember what gave me the idea in the first place — Nashville Hot Chicken, and Puebla Mole. This is neither, but it gave me another idea: add oil. You’re gonna be eating chocolate for dinner in no time.

Here we are at post 51. Thanks for everyone that entered the giveaway to celebrate! Stay tuned for more giveaways later in the summer. On that note, the Jollof Fest in Atlanta just ended, and it looks like Liberia drew first blood…but Nigeria will still win this war. Don’t believe me? Check out the 50th post again! 

But, I digress…back to the whole chocolate for dinner thing.

Once the spices were combined in oil, it was a lot more effective as a seasoning–and it survived the heat without burning into dust. Let that marinate overnight, and as usual,  let it come to room temperature before you start cooking.

You’ll get an awesome combination of spicy, bitter, and savory from the finished product. It doesn’t look too bad either. I took that picture during the initial sear, when it was still bright red. As it cooked, it got darker, and more flavorful.


The mashed potatoes are another throwback– they are a great foil to the spicy chicken. Along with the herbs, they can help to cool your mouth down between bites. Chocolate, Tahini, and chilies work really well together–I should see whether Dani can bake something with that combination.

Ready for this?

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

2 Chicken Breasts

2 Large Sweet Potatoes

1 Lemon, juiced and tested

2 Cloves of Garlic, roasted

6 Sprigs of Lemon Thyme

1/2 Cup Parlsey

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tbs Tahini

2 Tbs Un-sweetened Dark Cocoa

2 Guajillo Chillies

2 Arbol Chilies

2 Cloves

1 Tbs Coriander

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Chili Powder

1 Tsp Sumac

1 Tsp Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Combine dried chilies, and cloves in a spice grinder, and pulse until a powder forms. Transfer to a bowl, and add sumac, cocoa powder, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and coriander.

2. Stir in 2 Tbs of olive oil, and mix until a paste forms. Set aside.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then transfer to a large bowl. Pour in the spice paste, and mix well. Marinate overnight, if possible.

4. Poke shallow holes in the sweet potatoes, wrap in wet paper towel, and microwave for five minutes, or until soft. Set aside to cool, then peel and slice.

5. Combine potatoes with Tahini, olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, roasted garlic, salt and pepper in a blender, then puree. Set aside.

6. Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. Remove chicken from the fridge and let rest for thirty minutes. Place a heavy pan on med-high heat, and sear the chicken, then transfer to the oven. If it begins to smoke, lower the oven temperature to 400. Bake until well done.

7. Plate and serve with fresh herbs.





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