Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken Chili... when it's Chilly

The boys went to Central Park one day and came back raving about a chicken chili that they had, so I thought I would give it a try. It has become a favorite, I add the fresh jalepeño, thinly sliced as a garnish, so it is not too spicy for the kids. 

1 lb+ (454g) free-range chicken thigh meat, with or without bone, lightly seasoned
2 Tbsp+ olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp oregano
1 box (26.45oz/750g) POMI chopped tomatoes or homemade Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
1 cup (240ml) water
1 can (15oz/ 425g) white beans
1 tsp sea salt
1 serrano or jalepeño chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced (optional)
  • Season the meat with salt and set aside. 
  • Coat bottom of 6-quart dutch oven (casserole) with olive oil.
  • Sauté celery, onions and garlic until onions are soft. Remove from pot and set aside in medium-sized bowl. 
  • Add more oil and brown all sides of meat, 6-8 minutes (in batches, if necessary)
  • When browned, remove meat from pot. Add a splash of water and using a wooden spoon, scrape off any bits sticking to the bottom (de-glaze). It may seem like a lot of transferring of food, but this is the best way to make sure you can scrape all the yummy bits at the bottom and incorporate this into the sauce. It also prevents the bottom of the pan from burning.
  • Return the onion mixture, add the spices and sauté for a minute.
  • Return meat to the pot, and add chopped tomatoes and water. 
  • Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that rises up to the surface for the first 5-10 minutes. Turn down heat, cover and simmer for one hour. Fifteen minutes before serving, take out chicken pieces, remove bones (if any), and cut into small pieces. Return meat to pot. Add the beans to heat them up. Add salt and serve hot.
Bulk up your chili with adding more vegetables! Corn, carrots, sweet potato, etc. 

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