Wait! Before you think we’ve gone completely bonkers, hear us out. Chocolate is actually very popular in savory dishes and goes exceptionally well with spicy dishes. It adds a richness that you simply won’t get without it. This Chocolate Chicken is perfect for those who love their chicken deep-fried and crispy.
This recipe is quite different from classic fried chicken. Here chicken tenders are first marinated in a buttermilk and cocoa powder mixture. This not only tenderizes the chicken but also adds flavor. Then, it’s dredged in a flour and cocoa powder mixture and fried until crispy and delicious. The outside is crunchy, while the chicken remains moist and tender inside—yum! You’ll love this recipe, make sure to try it out!
The spicy chicken goes well with a tabasco honey sauce (it also makes it extra spicy). Simply mix together ¼ cup honey and 1 teaspoon tabasco, and drizzle over the fried chicken. Alternatively, drizzle it with plain honey or maple syrup. If you like the spice, feel free to add more cayenne pepper to the flour.
You can also use nuggets, chicken wings, or chicken pieces for this recipe. One chicken piece will need about 15 minutes of frying time (over medium heat). As long as the internal temperature reaches 165°F, it will be safe to eat. For drumsticks, the optimal temperature (for the best texture) is 170°F. Don’t overcook the chicken—otherwise, the chicken will be too chewy, instead of crispy and moist.
There are other variations of this recipe:
Korean Fried Chicken (also known as Dakgangjeong) is sweeter, crispier, and more flavorful than your normal fried chicken. It’s a traditional Korean recipe, where chicken is dredged and fried twice before it's glazed in a sticky soy sauce. This makes it extra crispy!
Mexican Fried Chicken contains chiles de arbol and guajillo chiles to make it extra hot and spicy.
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container (in the fridge) for up to 4 days. Leftover chicken can also be used in wraps or sandwiches. Simply reheat them in the microwave.
Make the brine: In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, cocoa powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic.
Add chicken tenders. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
In another large bowl, mix flour, corn starch, cocoa powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
Remove the chicken from the brine, and dip the chicken in the flour mixture.
Heat the oil.
Add chicken to the oil in batches, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the tenders are cooked through.
Drain off excess oil by laying chocolate fried chicken on a paper-towel-lined plate. Mix together honey and tabasco. Serve with warm chocolate fried chicken.
Make sure to use an oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures. These include: canola, peanut, sunflower, corn oil—they all have a high smoking point.
Don’t make your oil too hot, otherwise the breading on the chicken will burn before the chicken is cooked through. Use a thermometer to heat the oil to about 350°F.