Spicy Chicken Chili

June 2, 2012

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Spicy Chicken Chili over Rice

I ran across this recipe for a quick chicken chili at Food and Wine.  I’m not always the biggest fan of chili.  I think it has something to do with liking the taste of beans, but not the actual beans themselves.  I know that seems nuts, but really, that’s how I feel about them.  Mash the beans up and flavor them well and I love them.  When we go out for Cuban food and get thick bowls of black and red beans along-side, I push my spoon in until the” bean-juice” pools into it and I use this magical stuff on top of my rice, leaving each and every bean in the bowl for someone else to enjoy.  Yep, that’s me and beans in a nutshell.

But when I read this recipe, something told me I was going to like it.  Maybe it was the lack of green pepper in the recipe (and it seems to be in so many chili recipes), maybe it was the combo of pinto and black beans….maybe it was that I knew, before I even thought it, that those canned beans would be easy to mash, right in the pot.  *smile*  But whatever it was, something told me I was going to be happy I made it….and that something was right!

I will warn you – they weren’t kidding when they said it was “Spicy Chicken Chili”.  Too spicy if you ask me.  But beneath the heat, the flavor was great.  My notes for next time – a bit less salt, a bit less chili powder and a lot more chicken.  But the bones of the recipe are great – and hot as it was – I do believe this was the best chili I’ve ever made.  Probably ever eaten, too.  And with beans, rice, lean chicken and very little fat?  Hello, Healthy! *smile*

So here’s the recipe as I made it today, and with my notes for next time.

Spicy Chicken Chili

Serves 6


3 large Chicken Thighs, on the bone, skin and excess fat removed (next time use 6)***
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 teaspoons Chili Powder (next time use 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Salt (next time use 1/2 teaspoon)
2 Jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 1/2 cups Crushed Tomatoes with their juice
2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth (I used a water-and-bouillon combination)
1 15oz can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
Chopped Cilantro (optional)

In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, brown the chicken thighs.

Add the onion and garlic; cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt.

Add the jalapeños, the tomatoes and the broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove chicken thighs to a plate.

Uncover the saucepan and stir in the beans and black pepper. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes longer.

After about 10 minutes, I take a potato masher to the beans, right in the pot.  I don’t pulverize them all, but, as I said above, I like mine mashed, so I have at it.  If you are a whole bean lover, feel free to only mash a few (to help the chili thicken) or even none at all.  Really, it’s ok with me –  I’m a big believer in having your beans as you want them.  *smile*

While the beans are cooking, take the chicken meat off the bone and cut or tear into bite-sized pieces.  Put the chicken meat, and any accumulated juices back into the pan, and stir to heat through.

Serve the chili over rice, sprinkled with chopped cilantro, if desired.  (Some people love cilantro, some people hate it, so usually put some out on the table and let people decide for themselves.)

***If you have leftover chicken or turkey you’d like to use, feel free to substitute it and add it in at the end.

Filed Under: Diet-Friendly, Do-Ahead, Mains, Recipe, Savory, What's For Dinner

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