June 29, 2014, - 1:18 pm

Would You Eat This? If It Were Kosher, I’d Try It

By Debbie Schlussel

Would you try these?


Every year or season, it seems, there’s a new food fad: food made with coconut water (and coconut oil), kale this-and-that, and so on. The latest is interesting: chocolate chicken dishes. But this isn’t your father’s mole. It’s stuff like chocolate fried chicken, targeted to the hipster crowd (spoiled children who need their food to taste different to make life worth living). I’d try it, but the places where it’s offered aren’t kosher, and since most chocolate (often even dark chocolate) has some dairy element to it–and kosher people don’t eat anything containing dairy ingredients with poultry ingredients–I probably won’t be able to try it, unless I make it myself (and the cheese fried chicken mentioned below is a definite no-no for me). Still, it sounds different and worth a try (if I could). Would you eat this stuff?

Only in L.A. could a super-trendy new restaurant concept thrive by coating it in — sorry, Colonel Sanders — chocolate. ChocoChicken only has been open a week, but it’s already got the buzz — and plans to expand. The free-range chicken isn’t fried in chocolate oil. It’s lightly coated with a special cooking chocolate made from bittersweet cocoa, and fries up a shade of chocolate brown.

“Sure, it sounds super goofy,” says Adam Fleischman, co-founder of ChocoChicken, which opened last week near the Staples Center in Los Angeles and plans another location this year in Santa Monica, Calif. “But it doesn’t taste goofy. It tastes amazing.”

Not enough chocolate? Douse your chicken with Chocolate Ketchup. Side dishes include White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes and Duck Fat Fries sprinkled with chocolate seasoning. Chocoholics also can order Electric Chocolate S’mores for dessert. An entree of of two pieces of chicken and fries goes for about $15, slightly more for all-white meat.

Fleischman’s co-partner and self-taught-cook Keith Previte came up with concept. A third partner is Sean Robins, a film and TV producer. Fleischman, whose Advantage Restaurant Partners also owns trendy Umami Burger and 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria brands, helped fund the 175-seat ChocoChicken. And he helped tweak the super-secret seasonings. “All of the ingredients are secret,” he says. “All I can say is that the marinating, coating, seasoning and frying process all contain some element of chocolate.”

Restaurant success increasingly is about appealing to Millennials, who demand unusual tastes and also are quick to snap a photo of what they’re about to eat and post it on social media. ChocoChicken’s gotten plenty of that. “Best chicken wings outside of Buffalo,” said one Facebook post from fan David Crvelin.

Restaurant consultant Howard Gordon — who has eaten there — says ChocoChicken serves good grub. “It actually tastes good,” says Gordon, former marketing chief at The Cheesecake Factory. “But I think it’s more a big-city thing — where people are into things that are new and different.” Fleischman expects to have six stores in 2015 — including one in New York City — and eight stores by 2016.

This is not the only new chicken mash-up: In the Philippines, KFC recently rolled out Crispy Cheese Chicken, fried chicken marinated in cheese and breaded with bits of cheese-flavored chips.

Note that ChocoChicken uses “free range” chicken, which is code for “we are a leftist Obama establishment,” as is the case for most “creative” food places. Still, it’s an interesting idea.

Check out ChocoChicken’s menu. The Stuffed Calbrian Peppadew sounds like I’d like it (if it were kosher).

So, again, would you try it? What are the most unusual food and flavor combinations you’ve eaten? Were they good?

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17 Responses

Debbie, Elite has some parve dark chocolates. There are others here as well and if it has a good rabbanut’s hechscher and is marked parve,we have no problem eating it. Apply the 1:60 rule and you’ll be ok.

Meira on June 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    And, no, I wouldn’t try it. I’m not a chocoholic. I’m pretty much a purist when it comes to food. I like a variety of cuisines but not a mashup of them. I’m a killer cook too. Hmm, that may be a bad choice of words, haha.

    I don’t see why only Leftists should eat healthier, antibiotic and hormone free meat. It’s not just because of cruelty issues that Free Range is better. Most Israeli poultry is raised at least semi-free range and for the egg laying battery hens, Israel has devised a lot of toys to keep the hens amused which makes them better layers. I’m serious! They’re like the things bird owners hang in cages and the hens can move them and play with them while sitting in their nests. They also get music piped in.

    Meira on June 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I would try it. I’m imagining the two tastes together and it seems like it’d work.

I once worked in an egg factory for precisely 12 hours in 1988. I was broke, going through a nasty divorce and my friend asked me if I wanted to pick up some fast, tax-free cash. He knew a person who owned a poultry farm and they paid $100 cash at the end of every shift. My friend and I completed our shifts, and the owner was so emthralled with us that she offered us both full-time jobs. I turned her down. I had nightmares for weeks after that experience and didn’t eat eggs or poultry for several years. Mt buddy stayed on for a few more days and he finally couldn’t take it after a few more days.

To this day I always buy cage-free eggs and, now, Foster Farms chicken out here in Cali because it has the Humane Ass’n seal of approval. Idon’t know if those designations are just gimmicks, but I still fall for them in the outside chance that it makes a difference and I’m willing to pay a premium for it.

DS_ROCKS! on June 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I doubt I’ll ever eat any of that stuff.

I want my meat to taste like meat, and my chocolate to taste like chocolate, separate and all by themselves.

It’s the same reason I don’t like sweet and sour anything.

John Robert Mallernee on June 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

You know what DS and the first three commentators ahead of me, I’d try it and give it a shot, typically I wouldn’t eat foods that are typically salty with some sugar in it, but this one looks real interesting and worth giving it a go at it.

From looking at it, it looks like that it has some “TransFat” in it, but it may fool me with no transfat in the product, it still looks pretty delicious and yummy, despite with a unique fashion to it!

Sean R. on June 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm

and no way.

ebayer on June 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Doesn’t really grab me. I sort of like the main course to stay the main course and dessert to stay dessert but whatever.
I guess I’d try it if I was hungry.

Dakuan on June 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Many years ago, I ate at this Mexican restaurant located in the north end of Toronto where they served this mole chicken. Trust mr, it ain’t no Hershey-covered mayhem. There was a spicy bitterness telling me that cocoa was never always nice and sweet.

With that said, I’ll have to pass on that hipster-freak abomination. This, coming from one who loves some good chicken goodness and a fine hardcore chocolate fix, blood-glucose be damned.

Oh, and isn’t it barbecue season already? O gotta fire me up that grill.

The Reverend Jacques on June 29, 2014 at 10:51 pm

It does sound good… I’ve never had a savoury meal with chocolate. So I would eat it if the chicken were properly killed, i.e. with the blood drained. But I would always want to eat free range chickens and eggs. For the chickens sake, and for my own sake.

The law about not eating blood was given to Noah, and therefore to all mankind, as we are all descended from the sons of Noah.

But overall I long for the day that Paradise is restored as won’t we then return to the peace Adam and Eve found in Eden?

“Then God said: “Here I have given to you every seed-bearing plant that is on the entire earth and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. Let them serve as food for you. ?And to every wild animal of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving on the earth in which there is life, I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it was so.?After that God saw everything he had made, and look! it was very good.”

It was very good. It was perfect. It was Paradise. It was not a world of: Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten.

sue on June 30, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Sue, you know that Temple sacrifice. hundreds of bullocks and lambs every day? what do you think happened to the meat? No not all consumed in the fire. That was the innards. Never could understand people who eat offal but the flesh? Yummy! Barbeque! The Levites got a portion and the person bring the offering got to take it and eat it. Also, the ecology of the world shifted tremendously after the flood and the first thing Noah did was build an altar and make a sacrifice. But going back even further, Abel’s offering was not vegan. Definitely a firstling of the flock. Go back and read and TRY to understand the clear text.

    Meira on June 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

I have tried chicken with chocolate but not like this. I have eaten a dish from the Oaxaca region of Mexico called MOLE(moh leh) that uses ORIGINAL, traditional use of chocolate by the indians in that region(without the sweetness). The taste of this chocolate is spicy but not overwhelmingly. It gives the chicken a unique flavor and it is delicious. Eating the chicken with SWEET chocolate is for people that have palates more open-mindful than mine.

Mario on June 30, 2014 at 6:36 am

Chocolate flavored chicken? The thought of it brings out the squeamish in me. Even contemplated after a tall drink of stern composition I can’t imagine it sounding any more tempting than green eggs and ham. Nope, could be I’m missing out but no chocolate coated chicken for me—Not here or there; not anywhere!

lee of the lower case "l" on June 30, 2014 at 8:50 am

Free range chicken is not cruel and does taste better. But chocolate … no.

skzion on June 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

Sounds great.

Dome I know put choclate in their home made chili.

Unfortunaley, I am lactose intolerant.

Give me the kosher Rugelach.

Panhandle on June 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

LOL!!! I was telling Debbie on the jewelry hobby thread that I thought learning that tidbit of her personal life was an interesting part of my fanship of her celebrity status, as that is what she is to me, a celebrity.

This is very interesting, in that same vein as well. You truly are an interesting person, Debbie. As for these dishes, I find them pretty interesting as a person who loves to eat, and know/has known, a lot of people in the restaurant business.

So, Debbie saw some dishes that she cannot eat, but the idea tickled her fancy enough to bring it to us and write an article about it. Very interesting lady you are, Debbie, and very cool.

I love chicken, and I LOVE chocolate. But not this way, I don’t THINK so. Yes, mole sauce, traditional, love it. Anyone who’s ever had a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout has had chocolate in another non-conventional form. There are craft beers using it, and many other non-conventional beer recipes abound. But when it comes to chocolate most of the time, I want it in conventional bar, or chocolate candy, i.e., Jacques Torres or Godiva, form.

Having brought up Jacques Torres, and the word “conventional” in the same sentence, I have to qualify that. Yes, the Jacques Torres line does carry habanero pepper infused pieces, and yes, I’ve had it, and it’s great, but that puts it more along the lines of mole sauce, or something like that. And the Jacques Torres line has a bunch of other really non-conventional type chocolates. I just can’t see getting a bucket of chicken from KFC or some place like that and melting a couple Hershey bars over it.


This also smacks of experimentation in the realm of the restauranteur along the lines of the place in downtown NYC that has/had on its pizza menu, one that you could get with waterbugs on it. That’s right, giant roaches. When one exclaims disgust, there’s always the person who pops up to point out the passages in the Bible that describe the insects that it’s permissible to eat.

My question to God after Jesus returns would be, ‘okay, I get it that we CAN, but do we hafta, oh please Father, do we hafta, I mean do I hafta, can I just eat aminals instead of those yucky lookin’ bugs, can I just eat the aminals?’ LOL!!!

Unless we go back to pre-Noah days, herbs and fruits, which would be just fine with me, if our digestive and other systems would be adjusted by Him for us to survive and be properly fit on just that.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on June 30, 2014 at 11:15 am

I love chicken and I love chocolate. That being said I think that I will pass on this. It just looks too weird for me.

Ken b on June 30, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Sounds like a leftie food gimmick to me. Not interested in helping them make money…EVER!

It's just me again on July 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm

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