Dr Pepper and Dark Chocolate Braised Chicken Taco With Drunken Black Beans and Smoked Tomato Sour Cream 

The Collective

click to enlarge Dr Pepper and Dark Chocolate Braised Chicken Taco With Drunken Black Beans and Smoked Tomato Sour Cream - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Dr Pepper and Dark Chocolate Braised Chicken Taco With Drunken Black Beans and Smoked Tomato Sour Cream


For chicken:

2 tbsp. bacon fat

1 medium white onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño with seeds, diced small

2 lb. chicken thighs, boneless with skin on

1 tbsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper, ground

1/2 tsp. dry oregano

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cumin, ground

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. chili powder

4 c. Dr Pepper

8 oz. dark chocolate, (we use 76 percent cacao)

12 6-inch tortillas, corn or flour, for serving

For beans:

1/2 lb. dry black beans

4 slices bacon, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium white onion, diced

4 tsp. cumin, ground

1 tsp. coriander, ground

2 oz. bourbon (we prefer Maker's Mark)

4 oz. canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, plus 1 tsp. adobo sauce

2 bottles or 24 oz. Mexican lager (we prefer Dos Equis)

3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

For sour cream:

3 Roma tomatoes

2 c. hickory wood chips

2 c. sour cream

3 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 tbsp. salt

2 tsp. ground white pepper

2 limes, juiced


For chicken:

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add bacon fat, onion, garlic and jalapeño and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch roasting pan. Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and chili powder. In the pan you used for the veggies, sear chicken over medium heat, browning on all sides. Add to the vegetables. Deglaze pan with Dr Pepper and reduce to 3 cups of liquid, then reduce heat to medium low. Add chocolate and stir until incorporated. Pour over chicken.

Cover roasting pan with foil and braise at 275 degrees for 1 hour or until fork tender and cooked through. Cool, then shred chicken and return to liquid and vegetables.

For beans:

Soak beans overnight in room-temperature water. Drain beans and rinse. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until the fat has rendered out of the bacon. Remove bacon and set aside. Add in garlic, onion, cumin and coriander. Cook until onions begin to soften, then add bacon back in and cook until everything browns lightly, about 6 minutes. Deglaze with bourbon, then put onion mixture, beans, chipotle and beer in a slow cooker on low heat for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beans are tender. Check for doneness after 51/2 hours and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For sour cream:

Cut a small X through the skin on the bottom of the tomatoes. Do not cut through the flesh of the tomato.

Soak wood chips in water for 10-15 minutes. In a charcoal grill, set 2 cups charcoal to one side of the grill and light, then add strained wood chips on top of that. Keep all wood chips and charcoal to one side, setting the grill grate down and placing the tomatoes above the coal-free side. Cover, making sure the grill vents are three-quarters of the way open. Smoke for about 20 minutes. Let tomatoes cool, then peel and de-seed. Add tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice to a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste, and adjust thickness with additional sour cream and lime juice.

To serve:

Warm tortillas in a sauté pan over medium heat. Spoon chicken, beans and sour cream into tortillas and serve.


This dish is something just fun flavor-wise for me to make. I like to cook with things I drink, like Dr Pepper and Maker's 46. Plus, there are a lot of interesting takes on buildable flavors here that allow you to make simple changes and make this recipe your own.

— Submitted by chef Justin Edgar

Location Details The Collective
7702 Barnes Road
Colorado Springs, CO


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