The day scientists prove that a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake make a lifesaving power-meal may never come. But they did recently add chocolate, everybody's favorite "vice," to the growing list of who-knew health foods—right next to red wine, and to a chorus of "j'ai-told-vous-so"s.
As it turns out, chocolate not only makes the heart grow fonder, but also makes it grow stronger. Like red wine, tea, and fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate is high in flavanols, which, according to the American Heart Association, lower blood pressure as well as bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
What better way to express your love than with a chocolate-rich feast for two? Here's how to make it happen.
Super-Simple Chicken Mole
This classic Mexican dish gets its subtle sweetness and richness from a dose of dark chocolate. While traditional moles have upwards of 20 ingredients, this one is streamlined—but just as satisfying. For best flavor, make it the night before and reheat right before serving.
3 chicken breasts with bones and skin, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons chile powder
1/4 cup canned enchilada sauce (Old El Paso, for instance)
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (no sugar added)
1/4 cup grated dark chocolate
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon salt
2 cups cooked rice
Put the chicken in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and cover with water. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and throw them into the pot with a teaspoon of salt. Bring the chicken to a boil, uncovered, and cook for about 30 seconds. Turn off heat, and cover the pot.
Let the chicken poach without heat for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Place the chicken in a bowl and keep the pot of broth handy. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin and remove the bones. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Over low heat, slowly whisk in the flour until you have a thin, pale-brown paste. Keep whisking; add the chile powder. (The paste will solidify a bit.)