Chicken Chili

I decided to rock the boat around here with this chicken chili last night.  This recipe has been dog-eared for years (no exaggeration) and I give it a glance every now and then, but usually end up chickening out (har) and making my old stand by – Cincinnati Style.  It’s served over spaghetti with cheese, beans, and onions, and I’ve been told by it’s similar to Real Chili.  Never had Real Chili myself, but I hear it’s good stuff.  Especially at 2:00 am after an evening of carousing downtown. 

But like I said, I wouldn’t know.

When it comes to dinner, I’m usually risk averse.  So serving this chili was going out on a major limb for me, but the Husband and I liked it a lot.  The Pickle had seconds, and the youngest went to town piling on the toppings.  In fact, I’m not even sure she ever got to the actual chili part with her spoon.  Her dinner consisted mostly of hot sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, and Fritos.  And her being the third kid, I didn’t really have a problem with that.

No Thank You Boy had Cheerios.  I didn’t have a problem with that either.

I’m pretty laid back and all.

Anyway, thinking ahead to the Packer game this weekend, I’ve stashed the remainder of this bean-free chili in the freezer.  I would recommend making a batch on Saturday afternoon and chilling it overnight; I just had a taste of the photo shoot and while it was good last night, today it’s even better.


Serves 6-8
Source:, or Barefoot Contessa PARTIES!, copyright 2001 by Ina Garten.  pp. 232-233.

2 large yellow onions, diced
3 T. good olive oil, plus more for the chicken
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
½ t. dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
¼ t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 t. kosher salt
2 28 – oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
½ c. minced fresh basil leaves (**see note)

4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (Sendik’s Brand are on sale for 1.99 lb this week, 1/19/11 to 1/25/11)
Freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
Chopped onions, corn chips, shredded cheddar (Shur-Fine Brand is on sale), sour cream, and hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 – 15 minutes, until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Add the peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt.  Cook for 1 minute.  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.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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 – 40 minutes, until just cooked.  Let cool slightly.  Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into ¾” chunks.  Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.  Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

**NOTE**: Personally, I thought the idea of basil in chili sounded bizarre.  I had a bunch of cilantro in my fridge, and I used that instead.  If you’re a cilantro hater ( HI DAD), toss the basil in.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | January 18th, 2011