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Spicy Chocolate Milk-Simmered Chicken

Spicy Chocolate Milk-Simmered Chicken 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes May 12, 2020

“Chicken and chile and chocolate have a long and beautiful history in the form of mole, from the state of Puebla, Mexico,” writes Tyler Kord in his Food 52 book, “Dynamite Chicken,” by way of introducing this super-simple dish in which chicken is poached in chile-seasoned chocolate milk. The recipe calls for fresh jalapeños and chile powder. Kord prefers a powder made from ancho chiles, but any will do. The darker the chocolate milk, the richer and darker the sauce will be. Serve it as directed below, with sauteed zucchini and grains, or, as Kord notes, “stuff it in corn tortillas with a spoonful of the braising liquid and Greek yogurt.”

Storage Notes: Store chicken, zucchini and grain in separate containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the chicken
  • 1 cup whole chocolate milk
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed and split lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • For the zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchinis (about 1 pound total), sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cooked grain, such as farro, quinoa or rice, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garish (optional)


In a saucepan, stir together the chocolate milk, chili powder, jalapeños and 2 teaspoons of the salt until combined. Add the chicken thighs, bone side down. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, for 35 to 40 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, in a large saute pan over high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the zucchini and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini begins to caramelize and soften but does not turn to mush, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve the chicken and zucchini warm over cooked grains, garnished with cilantro, if using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Food52 Dynamite Chicken: 60 Never-Boring Recipes for Your Favorite Bird" by Tyler Kord (Ten Speed Press, 2019)

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 451

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 30g 46%

Saturated Fat: 9g 45%

Cholesterol: 169mg 56%

Sodium: 1245mg 52%

Total Carbohydrates: 12g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 34g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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