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Chicken Chili with Cornbread

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Well, it’s getting cold outside, folks. On a whim today, I busted out the slow cooker and looked at it for a while, thinking about what I could make with it. Something hot. Something filling and cozy-feeling. Chili!

I searched the fridge. Two frozen chicken breasts, a bunch of random vegetables and a three-quarters used tube of tomato paste. The pantry yielded a can of diced tomatoes, black beans, and some spices. Score!

I set the beans to boil and soften as I prepped the other ingredients. Diced the chicken up small (no ground beef, so I guess we had to make do with a lighter version of chili, not a bad idea so soon after the holidays anyway), sliced some mushrooms, a green bell pepper, an onion and several cloves of garlic. Browned the onions, garlic and chicken, and then tossed everything into the slow cooker. 4 hours later, we had chili, baby! I stirred up a quick cornbread (from The Pioneer Woman) and we had ourselves a filling and comforting dinner, while sobbing over The Cove (oh dear, if you haven’t watched it yet, grab yourself a box of tissues and SEE IT). Oh…I mean I sobbed. Chris of course didn’t. He’s a rock (wink).

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Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker Recipe)
Keep in mind that all of these measurements are rough estimates and that you can substitute anything you like. This recipe makes a small pot of chili for two or three.

2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 8-oz can diced tomatoes
1 large bell pepper (any color)
¾ cup dried black beans
2 chicken breasts, finely diced (or ground)
1 cup white button mushrooms, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic and onion until golden and aromatic. Add the chicken and cook for 2 min, tossing to brown evenly on all sides.

Add all of the ingredients except salt to slow cooker.

At this point, I cooked the chili on the high setting of my slow cooker for 3 hours, stirring every hour, because it was already pretty late in the afternoon. But I’m pretty sure the flavors would be better if you cooked it for longer, so I’d recommend turning it on to high for 30 minutes, then to low for the next 9 hours (you can make this in the morning and have dinner ready when you get home from work). If you try this let me know if it works.

Season with salt during the last hour of cooking. If the chili is watery, cook on high for a few minutes with the lid off to evaporate some of the liquid, or if you want you can stir in a teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in some water to thicken the liquid.

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