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Chicken Chili!

As we’re getting further into fall and the temperatures are dropping, the obviously appealing food option is chili. Or is that just me? Over the last several years, I’ve invented-ish my own chili recipe. Now, I have absolutely no idea what “kind” of chili this is. It is definitely not Cincinnati chili, nor is it Texas chili. I just call it delicious. So if you can rise above the various regional chili battles, check it out.

It’s delicious. My family would eat this with a dollop sour cream/plain greek yogurt and a mild cheddar cheese or colby-jack. And cornbread. Stay tuned for that recipe. This chili also makes great leftovers.

Okay, to start!

Onion. Key.

Diced, in a big pot.

Add a little vegetable oil, about a tablespoon. And stir. Not so much constantly but don’t let the onions burn. Kinda like I did…

Not too bad. I figure it just adds flavor? Ehh.

Anyway, my chili then calls for black beans and kidney beans. I have a weird opposition to the white kidney beans, but it really doesn’t matter which ones you use. These pics were the dark red beans. I would strongly recommend draining the kidney beans, but not the black beans. I find keeping the liquid for the black beans help with that chili color. Whereas the liquid from the red kidney beans makes the chili pink. Which is weird.

Anyway, drain the kidney beans (but not the black beans) and add both to the pot.

Since this is chicken chili, take 4 frozen skinless chicken breasts and stick ‘em in.

(See the note at the end of the recipe if you’re opposed to this, for whatever reason. Weirdos).

Add a can of diced tomatoes (drain if the chili looks broth-y, don’t if it’s thicker than you like it) and bury the chicken to cook.

Cover

Walk away.

Now this is the point at which you need some self-knowledge. Do you like your food spicy? Does a Taco Bell taco make your mouth burn? I can tell you what to add, but the how much is based on what my family likes. This is very much a trial and error kinda thing. You’ll know if you’ve made it to spicy; your face and throat will be on fire. Simple, huh? The easiest fix at that point is to dump in a couple spoonfuls of sour cream (or plain greek yogurt) to diffuse it. And drink milk as you eat. And try not to cry.

For me and mine, seasonings that go in at this point would be 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

But yeah. You’ve left it to cook for about 20 minutes. Pull the chicken out and dice it.

Add your seasoning and let it cook without a lid until it’s thickened to the point you like it. My personal preference looks a lot like this:

Start to finish this is about a 45 minute process.

Tips: if it doesn’t taste right, you probably didn’t put enough salt in it. Add more until it tastes like you want it to.

A really easy seasoning kit is Carroll Shelby’s chili kit. You still have to feel your way through how much of the seasonings you want to use, but it is nice and convenient.

Variations: if you don’t want chicken, cook the ground beef first. Brown it fully, drain the fat and add in the onions. Then continue on as planned.

This recipe is my own creation and is not sourced.

Ingredients:
4 6 oz frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cans kidney beans (any color), drained
3 cans black beans, undrained
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 large onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Tools:
large kettle or dutch oven
knife
cutting board
spoon

1. Dice the onion
2. Saute onion in canola oil in kettle, until onions are translucent and beginning to brown
3. Add the beans and diced tomatoes
4. Add chicken, submerge fully and cover
5. Cook for 20 minutes
6. Add seasoning and dice chicken
7. Continue to cook uncovered until it has thickened to your preference.
8. Serve and eat!