Boquete’s Sugar & Spice Bakery Pastry Chef, Richard Meyer has presented two very successful cooking classes for Boquete Gourmet during these last few weeks. Richard’s dishes were decadent and many students enjoyed the class so much chocolate, they became real aficionados of this fine delicacy.

The question asked in each class was where to buy fine, gourmet-style chocolate, the type found in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany. Many new residents in Boquete are yearning for the day when they can make chocolate delicacies from fine, imported chocolate here in Panama. And, now is the time.

The finest Belcolade Chocolate, imported from Belgium, is now available at the Boquete Tuesday Morning Market, beginning this Tuesday. The market is held in the Event Center, just over the bridge in the town center of Boquete, and it opens at 9:00am every Tuesday.

This fine, 70% cacao chocolate is bagged in pieces as they break from the huge, original bar. Pieces vary from 2 ounces to about one pound in weight. It is priced at 60 cents per ounce and comes with a recipe for Boquete Gourmet Chocolate Truffles, a very easy to make chocolate candy that requires no special skills to make. The truffle recipe is also included in Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook, available at locations listed on the right of this article.

There are many, many sweet treats that can be made from this fine chocolate, including some pictured here.

But, if you’d like to make something different with your chocolate, try this chicken recipe made with chocolate. Chocolate and chicken might not sound like the tastiest combination, but chicken mole marries these two unlikely foods together and the result is culinary heaven. This dish mixes common spices with chocolate before cooking it with chicken. If you’d like to make something unusual with your fine chocolate, try this dish.

6 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups broth
¼ cup almonds, slivered
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon. cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 oz. unsweetened Belcolade chocolate, chopped

In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the oil and cook the garlic until just soft, not brown, then add the chicken and brown. Remove the chicken and add the chili powder, blending it in well. Use less chili powder or omit if you don’t like spicy foods. Add the broth, almonds, raisins, and seasonings. Simmer this, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add the chocolate to the mixture, stirring until melted and return the chicken to the skillet, spooning sauce over the chicken. Cover and bake at 350F degrees for 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender. Serve with some chopped cilantro and buttered egg noodles on the side

Pick up some fresh Belgian chocolate at this Tuesday’s Boquete Market, you’ll love cooking with it!