I have to warn you up front that this recipe, though delicious, can be rather alarming to make. When it comes time to blacken the spices, you'll literally have smoke wafting out of your skillet. Remember to turn on your stove's exhaust fan. And yes, chocolate does seem like an odd thing to add to a main dish, but it results in a deep, satisfying flavor.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, divided, or more as needed
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 14.5-ounce cans stewed tomatoes (I puree mine before adding it; my kids like it better that way.)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
How to Make It
Sprinkle chicken with black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat in a deep 4-quart pot. Add chicken and cook until just cooked through, stirring a few times. Set chicken aside in a covered bowl to stay warm.
Reduce heat to medium-high and add remaining oil to pot. Add chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne, if using. Mix well, adding a little more oil if needed until spice mix is wet with oil. Heat spices until they're blackened and smoking, 4 to 6 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add chocolate. Stir into spice mixture with a heatproof rubber spatula.
When chocolate is fully melted, add tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir cooked chicken and green peppers into sauce and simmer 5 more minutes. Serve over hot rice.