Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chicken Chili

I was skeptical whether I would like this dish- when I think of chili, I think of a tomato-based, bean-ridden, ground meat chili. This chili just seemed so plain- cubed chicken simmered in pureed tomatoes with sauteed onions and bell peppers. I was pleasantly surprised how much I did enjoy this dish. Aside from the flavorful chili base, I used cubed boneless, skinless chicken, pureed whole tomatoes, and fresh onions and bell peppers- a very healthy dish. I also loved that it packed the perfect amount of heat, and was quick to prepare. Warning- this chili almost filled my 5-qt french oven so it does make a lot!

4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/8 cup minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for chicken
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (Used 2.0 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
Freshly ground black pepper
Garnish- Chopped onions, corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream

1. Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more 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 or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. If you're using split chicken breasts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks.

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts: I de-fatted my chicken breasts, cubed them, seasoned with pepper, and sauteed over medium heat until cooked through.

7. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.
8. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Source: Ina Garten


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