It’s time to dive into a trend that has foodsters around the world queuing for dinner reservations – Mexican. The good news is with this recipe up your sleeve, the party’s coming to your kitchen. Muddle those mojito limes. You’re going to need it for my Mexican chipotle chicken casserole with peppers and dark chocolate sauce. Hold on to your sombreros people. This is going to be epic!
The most important consideration when combining savoury and sweet is the subtle balance of flavours. This Mexican casserole has it covered.
Here’s what you can expect, earthy spices – coriander, cumin and paprika. Heat – chipotle paste, red chilli flakes and fresh chillies on top for sock-blowing heat seekers! 80% chocolate – adding dark, smouldering cocoa notes. Natura muscovado sugar – our all-important ‘sweet balance’.”
Mexican chipotle chicken casserole
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 55 minutes
Total time – 1 hour 5 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 free-range skin-on, bone-in chicken thigh pieces
1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1½ teaspoons paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons chipotle paste
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 pieces of orange peel
2 tablespoons Natura Light Muscovado sugar
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
3 squares Lindt 80% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
lime wedges and fresh coriander, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a wide based pan. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Brown the chicken on both sides in the hot oil, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and sauté until softened. Now add the garlic and chopped peppers to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add all the spices, chipotle paste, chilli and orange peel. Toast all the aromatics for a about a minute to intensify the flavours.
Stir through the sugar, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pan and press down to submerge in the sauce.
Cover partially with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Press the chocolate into the sauce and allow it to melt completely. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Finally, if you love chicken skin, place the pan under a grill until the skin is blistered and crispy. Serve with extra chilli (optional), coriander and lime wedges.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Dianne Bibby is a former fashion designer, turned food enthusiast and avid cook. At 36 she hung up her fashionable hat, tied on her kitchen apron and started on a new culinary journey.
Her kitchen is a creative gathering place where meals are shared with family and friends, celebrating life and nurturing our connectivity. For Dianne food is relational and pivotal to the way in which she expresses love, care and hospitality. Currently she spends most of her time developing recipes and teaching group cooking classes.
Says Dianne, “My food philosophy is relatively uncomplicated with inspiration being drawn from diverse global food trends and seasonal produce. My recipes are not exclusively tied to any particular food preference but rather an exploration of all foods that are vibrant and fresh.”
Dianne hopes that you will be motivated and inspired to try something new, making the time you spend in the kitchen deeply satisfying and rewarding.
She’d love to hear from you – CLICK HERE