Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chicken Chili

While fall has not *officially* arrived, I'm still already craving autumnal dishes.  We eat a lot of chili when it's cold outside, and I've managed to create a pretty damn good chicken version. 

I started off a few years ago with a recipe from my uncle Frank, a kickass cook in his own right.  I tweaked the ingredients to better suit our tastes- less heat, black beans instead of great northern- and voila!  An easy one-pot dinner that garners me lovely compliments from anyone who eats it.  Even a confirmed novice can make this one, and it's very kid friendly and full of veggies and fiber.

Chicken Chili
Serves 4-6

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped or put through a press
1 - 15 oz. can black beans, drained (I don't rinse mine)
1 - 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chiles, mild or regular, *not* drained
2 tsp. chile powder (I buy chile New Mexico powder from the Latin section of the grocery store- it's inexpensive, mild, and has a nicer, purer flavor than the mixture called "chili powder")
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2-3 cups water (or omit cubes and just use 2-3 cups of chicken stock)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Garnishes as desired: chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream or yogurt, green onions, chipotle Tabasco sauce (a mild and smoky hot sauce)

Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the cubed chicken, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is almost cooked through, 5-8 minutes.  Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Stir in chile powder, cumin, oregano, and Worcestershire.  Add the bouillon cubes, water, beans, corn, and Ro-Tel (with its liquid).  Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, or other things as desired.  My husband likes his a little smoky, so he uses the chipotle Tabasco. 

It's especially good as leftovers.

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