Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Chili

We recently had a group of fellow Wisconsinites over to watch the Packers beat the Lions 26-0. It was a perfect fall day here in Southern Alabama, and we were all excited to welcome "sweatshirt" weather. I wanted to make something warm and comforting to eat while we watched the game, and this chicken chili turned out great. Everyone gobbled it right up, and a couple of people requested the recipe, so I figured it was definitely worthy of a blog post! This is a much healthier alternative to traditional chili, with just as much flavor and spice.

Ina Garten's (Food Network's Barefoot Contessa) chicken chili recipe is the base, but I followed many suggestions from the reviewers. I would consider the amount of spice in this recipe to be "moderate", so adjust spices according to your taste.


3 yellow onions chopped
1/8 cup olive oil, plus extra for chicken
about 4 cloves minced garlic
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
2 (28 oz) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
3-4 chicken breasts (may use bone-in or boneless/skinless)
freshly ground black pepper
For serving:
chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking pan with cooking spray and place chicken in pan. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, chili powder, and a little cayenne pepper. Roast in oven for 35-40 mins, or until juices run clear, then let cool in pan.

2. Cook onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute.

4. Crush the tomatoes by hand (wash your hands well and dig in!) and add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove skin and bones from chicken (if using bone-in chicken breasts). Cut cooked chicken breasts into 3/4 inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.

6. Serve with the toppings. Enjoy!

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