Monday, August 1, 2011

Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili
This recipe comes from a need to lighten beef chili when we were trying to shed some pounds. My wife actually prefers the chicken now, and it is a very lean indulgence when dieting, but there is nothing light about the taste.

  • 1 1/2 - 2lbs Chicken, cubed about 1 inch
  • This is about 3-4 boneless, skinless breast halves, or chicken tenders work great. What's on Sale?
  • 1 Onion, medium sized (baseball), diced
  • 1 16oz can Petite Diced Tomato NOT DRAINED- the tomato w/ jalapeno or mild chilies work great here
  • 1 16 oz can Black Beans - NOT DRAINED & RINSED - low sodium works well or your favorite bean
  • 1 cup corn - frozen, or 1 can drained, or leftover corn on the cob is awesome
  • Dad's Rub - recipe click here
  • 2-3 Chipotle peppers diced fine or 2 - 3 fresh Jalapenos. the Chipotle adds a nice smoke element to flavor
  • Salt to Taste
  • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil to Saute
  • 4- 6 slices Bacon, Optional for flavor
  • Sharp Cheddar Shredded - Optional, to melt over chili, the sharper the better. You can get a much better grade of cheese for the same price if your willing to take a minute and shred your own from a block.

Saute the onion in a medium to large pot (like the pot you use to cook a pound of pasta) and pre-heat a large skillet to brown the chicken. When onions begin to turn clear, a couple light shakes of salt and a light dusting of Dad's Rub to start laying the flavor base down. The rub has plenty of pepper. I refer to caramelize the onions, which takes a bit longer but the flavor is worth the time.

While the onions are going, start browning the chicken in small batches. Dust the chicken lightly with salt and Dad's Rub. Go easy at first, the spice can catch up quickly. There is plenty of time to season in the pot as well. The goal isn't to cook the chicken here, just lightly brown it for flavor. Too much in the pan will steam it v. browning. When onion are done to your liking, add in the remaining ingredients to the pot. Please note that the tomatoes and beans are not drained, their combined juice make a a sauce that is just thick and tasty enough.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for at least a half hour for best developed flavor. White meat chicken can get overcooked easily & lose flavor. When i am not cooking for a diet, i often add  some andouille sausage for an extra flavor & meat boost or i will render bacon to saute the onions & chicken.Totally optional but totally tasty. Enjoy!

Dad's Rub

Dad's Rub is just my own little spice blend that i use for grilling and sauces and all sorts of other places.

It is simply
2 parts Chili Powder- the "Hot" Mexican on the market shelves usually isn't too spicy.
1 part each
- Black Pepper
-Cayenne Pepper
-Dry Mustard Powder

Please note there is no salt in this rub. I prefer to salt to taste

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