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Cocoa Crisp Chicken Recipe


chicken recipe, cocoa, chocolate, poultry, baked, receipts

Cocoa Crisp Chicken Recipe

© 2013 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Unsweetened chocolate is used in Latin molé sauces, so why not use cocoa powder in a breading for chicken? I like to buy a whole chicken (less expensive) and cut it up myself but you can easily use pre-cut light or dark chicken parts. The marination time adds moisture to the white meat and tenderizes the dark meat, so plan ahead for this simple step. Feel free to increase the chili powder if you like spicy foods.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Marination Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 (4 to 5 pounds) whole chicken, cut into serving pieces (see Notes)
  • .
  • Coating for Chicken:
  • 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (see Notes)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


Combine milk and lemon juice in a zip-top bag large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken to the bag, seal, and turn to coat the chicken. Unseal, squeeze out all the air, re-seal, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Place panko bread crumbs, flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, oregano, thyme, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse to combine. Transfer coating mix to a large plastic bag.

Remove chicken from the milk, shaking off excess moisture. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, a few at a time, and toss to coat. (Alternatively, pour the coating mix into a shallow plate and dredge each piece to coat.) Place on a platter, pieces not touching, and let rest for 15 minutes to set the coating.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.

Transfer chicken to baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until crispy and golden. Center of chicken breast should read 165 F. when tested with an instand-read meat thermometer. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

• The chicken will naturally be dark in color from the cocoa in the coating mix. Don't be fooled by the color into thinking the chicken is done. Use that instant-read thermometer.

• You may use all thighs, legs, white meat, or a combination of your favorite chicken cuts instead of cutting up a whole chicken. However, it is much less expensive to cut up the chicken yourself.

• If you use boneless chicken cuts, reduce the cooking time.

Buttermilk or plain yogurt may be substituted for the milk and lemon juice mixture.

• 1 cup of fine bread crumbs may be substituted for the panko.

• Adjust the amount of chili powder to suit your own personal heat levels.
Cocoa Crisp Chicken Recipe Photo © 2013 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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