Well, winter finally decided to come to Denver after two months of weather-confusion, and on Tuesday we had our first snowfall of the season. Ok, so it was only about 1/2 an inch, and it lasted for an hour, but I am willing to celebrate regardless. Plus, it has been dumping in the mountains. To celebrate what is arguably my favorite season (the others have decent contention as well), I made some hearty, healthy chili.
Chili often gets written off as time-consuming or unhealthy. This one is neither. The recipe originated from Real Simple's Chili for a Crowd, but has been adapted very liberally. My two favorite things about this chili: I combined white chicken meat and red chili (probably shameful to true connoisseurs), and it has beer. It can also be easily transformed to vegetarian: scrap the chicken, add a few more beans, and switch out the chicken stock for veggie stock. It went well with some simple low-fat buttermilk cornbread (recipe to come) and pale ale.
This takes about 1 hour, and will serve 6-8 hungry people. It freezes very well.
Chicken Chili (serves 8)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 bell peppers, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- ¼ cup of chili powder (if desired add 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder)
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 12-ounce bottle or can of lager beer
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans
- 1 15-ounce can great northern or white kidney beans
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- Salt and black pepper
My favorite toppings are listed below, but be creative. Cheese and sour cream are popular with dairy-lovers.
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced avocado
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add onions, garlic, and bell peppers and sauté until onions are transparent (about 5 minutes)
2. Add chicken, cumin and chili powder(s) and cook 5 more minutes, stirring often
3. Add tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes before adding diced tomatoes, beans, 1 teaspoon of salt and some ground pepper and cook 10 minutes
4. Add beer and broth, and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer uncovered 30 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste
5. For a richer flavor: add a little extra broth and simmer 15 minutes longer on low heat