Kate Percy's Chilli Chocolate Chicken

Dark, sweet, spicy, and with an excellent balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats to supercharge energy levels, this dish is packed with antioxidants to support your immune system.  This is my take on a Mexican mole, a deeply-flavoured casserole which uses dark chocolate to thicken and enrich the sauce. The traditional dish uses a huge array of ingredients and varieties of chilli; this streamlined version certainly doesn’t skimp on flavour but does involve much less shopping! Soak up the juices with quinoa, a ‘superfood’ grain, packed with all eight of the essential amino acids (protein), plus fibre, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and iron.


  • Prep – 10 mins
  • Cook– 70 mins

Ingredients to serve 4

  • 250g quinoa
  • 2 dried chillies (or to taste)    
  • 50g raisins                                    
  • 8 free-range bone-in chicken thighs or legs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut or sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp each ground coriander and ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 heaped tbsp peanut, cashew or almond butter
  • 1 tsp chilli paste (optional)
  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 25g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  • juice of one lime
  • 25g fresh coriander, roughly chopped,
  • soured cream and lime wedges to serve


  1. Put the chillies and raisins in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 10 minutes, then blend, or bash with a pestle and mortar to a smooth paste. Season the chicken. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the chicken, turning frequently to seal all over. Remove and set aside. Add another tbsp oil to the casserole and sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Stir in the cinnamon stick, coriander, cumin and cloves and cook for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the casserole and take off the heat.
  2. Add this to the casserole with the garlic, nut butter, chilli paste, if using, orange zest and tomatoes. Pour in enough stock to cover everything. Return the casserole to the heat and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa according to the pack instructions.
  3. Add the chocolate and continue to cook, uncovered, on a low heat for another 15 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more stock or water.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and check for seasoning. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with the quinoa, a dollop of soured cream and lime wedges.