Oct 20, 2008

Kayotic Chicken Chili

For years I made chili only using ground beef, until I finally found enough courage to step outside my comfort zone and tried it with chicken for a change. I was sold. Sometimes you just have to drag me, kicking and screaming, out of a tried and fool-proof recipe while I yell “Why reinvent the wheel? Leave me alone” at the top of my lungs. I’m pretty sad like that. 

Now I’m a classic ‘open your fridge and see what jumps out’ kind of cook. I make do with whatever I have so my ingredients tend to vary. Sometimes I’ll add bell peppers, jalapenos, corn or even carrots. Basically whatever I can get my grubby little hands on. That also applies to the beans, whatever I have in my pantry is what goes in. Today it’s white beans.

My version is probably as non-traditional as it gets. Not exactly soul food as it was meant to be, I know. It’s stripped of all pretense. Back to basic, quick but pretty darn tasty with some corn bread or Turkish bread on the side.

Ingredients:

3 chicken fillets (or boneless chicken breasts)
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
3 large, juicy tomatoes
1 tsp taco seasoning
2 red chili peppers
1/2 cup bacon (about 5oz)
1 can white beans
1/2 cup red wine
2 garlic cloves
2 red onions
sour cream
pepper
salt
lime

Optional: cilantro

Directions:

It just dawned on me that virtually all my recipes start by saying ‘chop an onion’. Sorry. Can’t help it, no meal is complete without onions for me :)

It’s often followed by “grate the garlic“. Oh no, I’m becoming predictable! Boring! Like an old, comfortable pair of shoes in dire need of replacement.

But being predictable is not necessarily a bad trait, mind you. Not when the end result is tasty. So back to my old transparent self it is.

Cut the tips off of two red hot chili peppers and roll them between your hands until most of the seeds come out (leave them in if you’re feeling particularly adventurous) and cut them into rings.

Big, flavorful, juicy, bright red tomatoes. They’re so good. I leave the skin on and just give them a good wash.

Now a very easy to way to quickly work a tomato is to simply use an an apple corer.

Now coarsely chop the tomatoes. Such pretty color. Like a huge red wheel.

Cut up about a pound of chicken. I went for chicken fillets (don’t I always?). Season with salt and pepper.

Also set 1/2 cup bacon aside, cut in very small pieces.

Heat 2 tbsp oil and get the chicken in there. Give it about a minute and then add the bacon.

After 2 minutes plunge in the onions, chili peppers and garlic. Cook for 5 more minutes over medium heat while stirring every now and then. I’m using my Dutch oven for this.

Now grab a measuring spoon and get a heaping tbsp taco seasoning in there (you can add a little extra cumin or some curry powder if you like) and 1 1/2 heaping tbsp tomato paste. Cook for two more minutes to sweeten the tomato paste a little.

Here comes my secret ingredient. Pour in some red wine. I’m using about half a cup. This gives the chili such a unique and rich flavor.

Now it’s time for your tomatoes to make an appearance.

Add 1 heaping tsp dried oregano and give everything a good stir. The tomatoes will transform into an amazing juice. Simmer everything over low heat for about 20 minutes.

In the mean time you can rinse your beans of choice. Add them to the chili and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes.

When your chili is ready, taste it and season with salt and pepper.

Serve in pretty bowls. Now a good chili just needs sour cream and lime juice in my book. They give it that special finishing touch. I usually garnish with a little sour cream and one or two small lime slices on top, but also serve a few extra limes on the side. Added some flat parsley to create a color effect. I can’t stand cilantro, but if you do, this would definitely be your cue to use it.

If you’re anything like me and only used ground beef so far, go give it a try! Now don’t make me drag you! You know I will!


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    12 Comments »

    1. 1

      This looks absolute delicious, I will have to try this recipe sometime^^ I have never seen an apple corer before and it seems like a really neat kitchen tool :D I have always cleaned apple manual with a knife hehe

      Carina on Oct 20, 2008 @ 3:00 pm Reply
    2. 2

      An apple corer is something even my grandmother used. It’s such an easy, simply and ridiculously cheap tool that I use for a myriad of things.

      Kay on Oct 20, 2008 @ 3:06 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Apple corer! So simple! I guess you need really nice and firm tomatoes, though, or they’ll just go splash when you plunge in the corer.
      Great photography as always!

      Karohemd on Oct 20, 2008 @ 7:56 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Karohemd:

      I wouldn’t really suggest trying this with mushy tomatoes. On second thought, do try it … and take photos, will you ::snirk::

      Kay on Oct 21, 2008 @ 12:29 pm Reply
    5. 5

      When the weather here in Mayberry gets below 100 I will make this one!! This is perfect cozy, lay be the fire on Sunday and watch football chili!! So looking forward to making this very soon…
      ::sitting here hoping for cooler weather soon:: :)

      Cathy on Oct 29, 2008 @ 2:45 am Reply
    6. 6

      Cathy, are you trying to make me jealous? It’s so cold here …

      Kay on Oct 30, 2008 @ 12:55 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Mmm, looks great! This could really help me change the regular old chili! I’ll have to try this out!! Thanks! :D

      Tarah on Nov 19, 2008 @ 7:56 am Reply
    8. 8

      This looks so very good!

      Mrs Ergül on Nov 19, 2008 @ 8:48 am Reply
    9. 9

      Looks awesome! I’m making this tonight…just wanted to point out that the bacon’s not in the ingredient list up top (which I was using to make my shopping list).

      David on Nov 21, 2008 @ 10:19 pm Reply
    10. 10

      David, thanks for letting me know! Immediately added it!

      Kay on Nov 21, 2008 @ 10:21 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Looks great! How many portions is this recipe for?

      Joel on Mar 28, 2009 @ 8:02 pm Reply
    12. 12

      this looks great, I am big on not reinventing the wheel! lol

      Resvie on Nov 25, 2009 @ 9:20 pm Reply

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