Cocoa-cardamom chicken with pee wee potatoes and rustic acorn smash

Cocoa powder may not be traditionally used to cook savory dishes but I love to use it in my rubs and seasoning blends. Combined with cardamom and smoked paprika, it lends not only a gorgeous color to the chicken but also an amazing flavor. Prepare the chicken while you roast the vegetables and dinner will be ready in no time!

This dish is packed with flavor as opposed to calories. Why have it any other way?

Buen provecho!

Cocoa-cardamom chicken with pee wee potatoes and rustic acorn smash

Ingredients

  • Canola oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 1.5 lbs pewee potatoes, thoroughly washed
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom, ground
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Preparation

Preheat oven at 400° F

Acorn Squash

Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds and membranes. Place halves on a baking tray skin-side down; drizzle with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn squash halves skin-side up and bake for 35-40 minutes, until tender. Allow cooling and then remove flesh with a spoon onto a bowl; make sure to add any drippings from the pan. Using a fork, mash acorn squash until a rustic puree consistency has been reached.

Potatoes

Season potatoes with cumin, salt and pepper; add 2 tbsp of canola oil and toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Set aside.

Chicken

Combine cumin, cocoa powder, cardamom, and paprika with a drizzle of canola oil in the bottom of a bowl.  Add chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper; using your hands, rub marinade all over chicken. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.

Heat 2 tbsp of canola oil over high heat. Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Do in 2 batches, if necessary, and place on baking tray. Transfer chicken to oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Allow cooling for a few minutes before cutting.

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