smoky chicken chili.

March 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

I thought maybe I’d waited too long to share this recipe.  I thought, yesterday, Spring is here.  No one wants any more cold weather comfort food.  But then, I saw the forecast for Wednesday.  Five to eight inches of snow.  And I may have cried.  But then I thought…

CHILI TIME!

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I know I shared a recipe for a white bean chicken chili last month.  (It’s excellent.)  This recipe for smoky chicken chili has a completely different flavor profile.  It has a deep, smoky, lingering spiciness, the result of slow cooking the onions and allowing the chicken to absorb the spices.  It takes just a little extra time, but it’s definitely worth it.  Also, if you don’t have smoked paprika, I highly suggest you get some to use for this recipe.  (I know they sell it at Trader Joe’s!) It really makes the difference, and I don’t believe that regular paprika will have the same effect.

Smoky Chicken Chili

Recipe from How Sweet Eats, on the Tasty Kitchen blog

What you need:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 14.5-ounce cans white beans (use cannellini or Great Northern or both)
  • 2 4-ounce cans of diced green chilis
  • 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese (for topping)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (for topping)

What to do:

In a large stockpot, cook the chopped bacon for 3 minutes.  Add the chopped onion and garlic to the bacon and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.  The onions should begin to caramelize and brown.

Now, add the shredded chicken, smoky paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to the pot.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring and pressing the spices into the chicken with a wooden spoon.  This helps to infuse the chicken with flavor.

Finally, stir in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and green chilis.  Allow the chili to come to a slow, rolling boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the liquid reduces.

Top bowls with some shredded mozzarella and fresh cilantro, if you like.  I liked this chili just as well without any extra toppings.  Enjoy!

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I hope this makes you feel better about this never-ending winter.  It makes me feel better.

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white bean and chicken chili.

February 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

I’ve been living in Northeast Ohio now for a little over five months.  In the late summer and early fall, I worried a lot about what winter would be like in the snow belt, especially considering I drive a little (cute) Honda Fit.  So far, I’ve only had one or two truly scary commutes to work and my car’s doing better than I expected.  The constant brutal cold temps and the seemingly constant snow showers have started to wear on me, but I kinda think that about half our country is in the same boat.

In the past, I’ve struggled to stay positive through winter.  I miss the sunshine and being about to jog and hike outdoors without freezing my nose and toes.  I have to say, I’ve surprised myself this winter.  I do have a strong partner in Ty; I guess I’ll give him some (tons) of the credit for keeping my spirits up.  As much as I loved living in Columbus, I also love living here.  It really is a beautiful place, even snow-covered.

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I took these photos on the coldest day in Cleveland in 20 years.  Wind chills reached -35 below.

(-35 is not beautiful.  In case you were wondering.)

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Needless to say, this is optimal time for chili cooking.  I’ve been churning through a list of different recipes to figure out which ones we like the best.  This was one of the first I made:  quick white bean and chicken chili.  I have a clipping of this recipe that my mom gave me from The Columbus Dispatch a few years ago.  The article is titled, “Quick chili stands out as gift,” and says the chili is ready in “20 minutes flat.”  I agree: This is a perfect recipe to double and serve to family and friends.  It also comes together really fast.

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White Bean and Chicken Chili

Adapted from The Columbus Dispatch editors

What you need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 oz.) great northern beans
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) green chilies (mild or hot, depending on your taste)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz.) fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1/2 C shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (optional garnish)
  • 1/4 C reduced-fat sour cream (optional garnish)

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What to do:

When I make this chili, I prepare all my ingredients first.  Peel and chop the onion.  Peel and mince the garlic.  Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Rinse and drain all of your beans, and drain the chiles.  Ready?

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large nonstick soup pot.  Add your chopped onion to the pot, and stir to prevent sticking.  Now add the chicken and garlic.  Stir occasionally and allow the chicken to cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add your corn, beans, and chilies to the pot.  Then add the chicken broth, cumin, and cayenne pepper.  Increase the heat to high.  Cover the pot, and allow the chili to come to a boil.

While the chili is cooking, mix the cornstarch and water in a small plastic container with a lid.  Shake well!

Add the cornstarch mixture to the chili a scoop at a time, stirring constantly to blend it in.  Continue to let the chili boil until it reaches the thickness you prefer.  Remove the chili from heat when you’re ready to serve.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of cheese.

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Easy, satisfying chili!

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Some notes:

This recipe will serve 2-3 very hungry people.  I would double or triple the recipe for company, particularly if you want leftovers.

The chili freezes well.

If you prefer, you could cook your chicken breasts in the oven ahead of time and shred for the soup.  Other options would be to use frozen chicken strips, like Tyson makes, or a rotisserie chicken.

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I love stirring in the sour cream and cheese.  So yummy.

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