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Did Somebody Say “Chicken Chili”?

Here’s a recipe I’ve been toying with lately. I’m pretty satisfied with the results—more than satisfied, actually. I’m in love with the results! If I do say so myself, this chicken chili kicks some serious ass. The original inspiration was the Turkey Chipotle Chili in The Gourmet Cookbook, but after all my toying with it the only remainder is the technique, really—instead of tomatillos I’ve used canned tomatoes, celery takes the place of green peppers, I’ve added chili powder and cut the canned green chilies completely, I’ve banished the evil herb, cilantro, from my pot, and of course chopped chicken breast replaces ground turkey. It’s filling, it’s got a nice kick to it, and even though it’s high in flavor, it’s very low in fat. Served on top of brown rice, it’s one heck of a good meal.

Chicken Chili
Serves 4-6
Inspired by The Gourmet Cookbook

2 canned chipotles in adobo
1 cup water
1 T. vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 T. minced garlic, divided
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 T. ground cumin
2 T. chili powder
2 lbs boneless chicken breast, roughly chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1 container Pomi chopped tomatoes (or one large can of plum tomatoes, chopped)
1 ½-2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 ½ t. dried oregano, crumbled
2 t. salt, or to taste
1 T. cornmeal
1 19-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

Puree chipotles with water in a blender and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over moderate heat. Add onions, 2 T. garlic, and celery and cook stirring, until onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

Add chipotle puree, chopped tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, oregano, and salt, and simmer, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep chicken barely covered, for 1 hour.

Add cornmeal and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in white beans and remaining 2 T. garlic and simmer until beans are heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust salt to taste. Discard bay leaves before serving.

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