I know what you’re thinking: “Oh wow, chocolate milk and chicken are finally coming together and now my life is complete.” For all two of you not thinking that right now, let me tell you why the combo works:
1. Chicken poached in milk is absolutely wonderful, as evidenced by chicken potpie or any creamy chicken dish for that matter.
2. Chicken in a sweet sauce is totally a thing. See American Chinese food classics, like sweet-and-sour chicken, General Tso’s chicken, and orange chicken.
3. Chicken and chile and chocolate have a long and beautiful history in the form of mole, from the state of Puebla, Mexico.
So accept that this chicken may just be one of the most interesting and weird-good things you will make from a cookbook. After poaching the chicken (and I promise the milk will not curdle—the chocolate and Saturn’s influence, even if you have only a low-level association with the ice giant’s great powers, help keep it emulsified and beautiful), pull the meat out of the liquid and put it over quinoa with some sautéed zucchini for a solid weeknight meal. Or stuff it in corn tortillas with a spoonful of the braising liquid and Greek yogurt. Or, if you’re feeling super amazing, pull the cooked chicken off the bones, add it to some cooked potatoes in a pie crust with some or all of the braising liquid, and bake the damn thing!
1 cup (240ml) full-fat chocolate milk
2 tablespoons chili powder (I prefer the one made from ancho chiles)
2 jalapeños, stemmed and split lengthwise
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds (680g)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick (1.3cm-thick) rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cooked quinoa, for serving
1. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate milk, chili powder, jalapeños, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the chicken thighs. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is very tender.
2. While the chicken is cooking, add the oil to a large sauté pan over high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, add the zucchini and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is caramelized and soft, though not so soft that it’s turning to mush. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic starts to caramelize a little.
3. Serve the chicken and zucchini over cooked quinoa.
Excerpted from Food52 Dynamite Chicken by Tyler Kord. Copyright 2019 Ten Speed Press.
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