Cocoa-Chili Crusted Chicken Thighs

cocoa chili chicken

As I began to write this blog, I left the room to grab a glass of water.  Upon my return, I found this typed on my computer:

I maDE THIS AND ATE IT, YUM.  It was pretty easy cause I got these crazy cooking skills.

put some cocoa on them chicken parts

put em in oven

when they done eats em up, and give some to teh kitteh.

When I asked Mister what the heck this was, he explained that the cat was channeling these words to him and took over his fingers at the keyboard while I was gone.

I don’t know what to make of it.  Either I’m dating a Mister who has the typing skills of an 8th grader or I have a very smart cat who can control humans and thus eventually take over the world.

It makes a girl wonder.

cocoa chili chicken thighs

So does the mention of cocoa and chili… that makes a girl wonder too.  Now the secret is out, folks have added cocoa into their crock pots of chili for ages now (although nobody will admit to it).  Don’t worry, if the concept of adding CHOCOLATE to chili grosses you out, don’t think too much about it.  You can’t taste the chocolate per se.  Adding unsweetened chocolate to chili is like adding another layer of flavor to a 7-layer dip (which would make it an 8-layer dip, obviously).  It makes that medley of meat, beans, and spices have a deeper, richer flavor instead of making everything taste like dessert.

So I figured, why not take that cocoa/chili idea and apply it to some chicken?  So I did.  And as the Mister (and teh kitteh) have already explained above, I, “put some cocoa on them chicken parts,” and, “put em in oven.”  Lo and behold, a new favorite rub for chicken was born.  I know this crust would be great on chicken tenders too.  Maybe BBQ too? *lick*

Cocoa-Chili Crusted Chicken Thighs

Cocoa-Chili Crusted Chicken Thighs


  • 6 chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 475°. Mix together all ingredients except for the chicken and oil. Pat chicken dry and season all sides with cocoa-chili mixture. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  2. Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Parmesan Chili Grilled Corn

Summer is great because the corn harvest is sweet and cheap.  I’ve cooked my corn many ways – in the husk, without it, on the grill, in my oven, in a pot…  I love it all.  One thing is certain though, you must, I repeat MUST soak your corn in water with a bit of sugar in it.  This will help all the natural sugars come out in your corn when you cook it.

This particular time I had a craving for Parmesan Chili corn.  This corn sounds more intense than it actually is.  Not one flavor overpowers another.  Everything simmers together as the corn plumps and cooks, it’s a magical thing.  And yes, you read the ingredients list correctly, I used mayo.  Not butter.  I know, I know, crazy talk right?

The mayo acts as a binding agent for all the seasonings.  As the corn cooks, the mayo practically evaporates and you’re left with delicious chili and Parmesan flavors that stick to each kernel.  If you’d try the same thing with butter, everything on your sweet corn will drip right off into a charcoal abyss and that, my friends, is no bueno.

Try this out for yourself and tell me what your taste buds say.

Parmesan Chili Grilled Corn

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cob

Parmesan Chili Grilled Corn


  • 4 ears fresh corn, husked and soaked in sugar water for at least an hour
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan
  • Chili Powder
  • Salt
  • Aluminum Foil


  1. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the mayonnaise, sprinkle with Parmesan, chili powder and salt on the corn so it is nicely coated. Wrap in aluminum foil and repeat with remaining cobs.
  3. Place on the grill for 30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes, until the corn is tender. Remove from aluminum and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.


Don't feel like grilling? Roast your corn in the oven instead!

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