Recently I was fooling around in the kitchen and wanted to make my meal better than the same old chicken, potato's, and veggies. I was looking for something to change our routine into something to stimulate my artist cravings. I found I had some basic ingredients around the house to make a good red wine sauce. Wine sauces are usually pretty simple to make... The base is generally wine and broth, after that it is pretty much up to you on how you want the flavor to go.
I love garlic and I happened to have a little shallot in the fridge. So I thought I would use those two in heavy quantity. Then I spied the Cocao Beans. and I thought, well, the worse that can happen is a lose a little Merlot over the deal. On a little side note, use wine you would drink, not the cheap stuff that tastes like vinegar. You are only using a small amount and can serve the wine with the meal or drink it while you are cooking.
One of the biggest misconceptions we have about cocao is it is supposed to be in baking or sweets. Unfortunately the most health benefits will not occur unless it is closest to the pure form, the bean. The more it is processed the less potent of an antioxidant it will become. Many of the health benefits fade.
I have a daughter that loves the mortar and pestle. When I have a chore to do with it she is right there to do it. She often makes fresh hot cocao because she just loves it. We won't tell her I put it over ice and throw in a shot of Fireball...
I decided I wanted the cocao beans cracked and shelled to create nibs. You can buy the chocolate nibs, but there is just something better about the freshness in doing it yourself. I put the wine and chicken broth together and threw in the freshly cracked cocao beans. I let it sit for about 30 minutes so they would be soft in my concoction.
Then I grabbed the blender, added the garlic, shallots, a little sea salt, and then hit the pulse until they where good and minced. Meanwhile I took out some organic chicken breast and put them in a pan with a little olive oil to brown. This is the point where you pour yourself a glass of that Merlot and taste your ingredients.
After the chicken was browned I pulled it out of the pan and turned the stove to high. I threw the garlic/shallot mix in and stirred it while I grabbed my cocao/wine/broth mix. Then I slowly stirred it in. Turn heat to medium/medium low and leave uncovered so the sauce can reduce for about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to shake up the flavors from the bottom of the pan.
Once it is reduced take off the stove top, add a couple of tablespoons of organic butter, and stir until melted. I added the chicken back into the pan for a few minutes flipping it a few times to coat well. Pull out of the pan, place on your plate and spoon some of the sauce with the goodies onto the chicken. Serve with rice or potato's or sweet potato's and veggies of your liking. You can let the sauce spill onto the rest as it really compliments most things.
The recipe is below.
3/4 cup Merlot
2 cups organic veggie or chicken broth
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup shallots
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs
after done add 3 tablespoons butter/margarine/olive oil
***This can also be used as a vegan recipe for Portobello Mushrooms or Paleo diet to help venture out of the fold! Just use the Veggie broth and a butter substitute.