Chocolate chili and red wine
Blog: Winemaker's Journal
January 9, 2013
Who says beer is best with chili. I found red wine just fine last night when I recreated Damian Browne's fabulous chocolate chili recipe.
Browne's recipe for his award-winning chili can be found in the January-February issue of Foothills magazine (page 20-21).
Browne, former Sleeping Lady Resort chef and co-owner of Leavenworth's Schocolat chocolate shop, uses ginger, Middle Eastern spices, chicken and, of course, chocolate in his signature dish.
I love Damian's healthy bias, but I was in the mood for something seriously meaty. I had some leftover rib roast, so I chopped that up and substituted it for the most of the chicken called for in his recipe. I also used about a quarter pound of fresh chorizo. Instead of chicken stock, I used red wine and beef stock. I also substituted one 12 ounce can of big red kindney beans for the pinto and white beans he used.
But it's Browne's blend of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and chocolate that really makes this dish stand out from your typical chili. It does include plenty of chili powder, cayenne and fresh peppers to give it firepower. I melted about two ounces of dark chocolate in the chili in the final stages.
A squeeze of lime, chopped cilantro, a little shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream and the chili was ready to serve.
I had a bottle of Walla Walla Manhattan Project Cabernet Sauvignon open and the match with the rich meat, chocolate and spices was truly a revelation. The tongue-in-cheek-named wine is unpretentious and wickedly good, with definite hints of chocolate that pair up well with this dish. A spicy syrah would be very good too, I bet.
This is a meal suitable for football watching or a relaxed winter dinner party with your fanciest friends. And with red wine, chocolate and spice, don't forget Valentine's Day.