I use chocolate in several winter dishes as it adds extra body and flavour, enhances the spices and provides a sense of comfort. This is an easy casserole recipe, though anyone keen to experiment can make a quick start by adding white chocolate to a white sauce recipe for salmon or similar.
- 1 chicken, jointed
- 1 heaped tablespoon of chocolate powder (cacao)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 3 rashers of bacon
- 2 large carrots
- 1 handful of chopped shallots
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a casserole dish that can be used on the stove as well as in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and gently fry the bacon, onion and garlic until golden brown.
Heat the remaining oil and brown the chicken joints in a frying pan. Add the chicken to the casserole with the rest of the ingredients, and heat until simmering.
Put a lid on the casserole and place in the oven at 140 deg C for 2 hours. Remove from the oven.
If required the sauce can be thickened. To thicken the sauce, remove the joints and keep them warm, mix 1 dessert spoon of cornflour with a little water and add to the casserole. Heat on the stove until thickened. Replace the joints.
Serve with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or rice.
Rabbit can be used successfully in place of chicken in this recipe.
Claret House, Teneriffe, Brisbane www.clarethouse.com.au