Friday, February 14, 2014

Delish Chicken Chili

This is a staple in our house, once the weather gets cold.  It's a one-pot-meal...tons of veggies plus chunks of chicken -- all seasoned perfectly for one of the best chili recipes all around!  Feel free to substitute leftover cooked chicken or turkey for the chicken thighs (great way to get rid of oodles of leftover Thanksgiving turkey!)

The toppings are certainly optional, but in my opinion...they take this chili to the next level.  Serves 8.

Delish Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 pound skinless chicken thighs (about 6), cut into thin strips
4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes with their juice
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes (preferably Hunts® Fire Roasted diced tomatoes)
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1 15-ounce can drained and rinsed pinto beans
1 15-ounce drained and rinsed black beans
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Toppings (optional, but worth it!):
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped scallions
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
1 cup chopped avocado tossed in the juice of ½ lime

1. Preheat broiler to High. Seed and core the red and yellow pepper.  Slice the onion into rings, taking care to keep the rings together.  Place onion rings, peppers, and whole jalapeno on a cookie sheet coated with non-stick spray.  Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper, so all veggies are coated evenly.

Place veggies on cookie sheet about 5-inches from the broiler; broil for 5-6 minutes (or until lightly charred).  Turn and broil another 5-6 minutes, or until charred on both sides.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. Cut chicken into strips and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper.  Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken in one batch and cook until done, about 8 to 10 minutes total, stirring frequently to cook all sides evenly.  Remove from pot to a bowl and cover with foil.

3. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute. Meanwhile, chop the charred onion, red and yellow peppers and add to the pot. Remove the seeds and veins from the charred jalapeno; finely dice and add to taste (for mild/medium chili, add ½ of the charred jalapeno).  Cook for 1 minute to combine flavors.  Add spices and cook for another minute. 

Add the canned crushed and diced tomatoes with their juices and chicken broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Uncover the saucepan and stir in the beans and black pepper. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15-20 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro.

To serve: ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese, a heaping spoon of yogurt or sour cream, scallion, additional cilantro, and avocado chunks.  Soooo good!

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