Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chunky Chicken Chili

Believe it or not, this week has still been chili weather in Los Angeles. It's blustery and cool and does not at all feel the way springtime should time in Southern California. So on that note, I went to town on what was one really time consuming but insanely tasty chili. I don't think I've ever spent so much time chopping up meat for a chili since I'm usually lazy and go for the ground/mince meat option. But this is seriously amazing.

My warning to you is that is is spicy! The spiciness does lose it's punch after a few days, but on day one, it's fiery. Not in the horrible "I taste nothing because it's so spicy" kind of hot, but the really flavorful yet spicy kind of hot. If you're not a fan of spicy, there are definitely ways to change this and still keep that same flavors. If you're not into spicy foods, only use 1 chipotle chile and skip the jalapeno. Also keep in mind that adding sour cream or grated cheese on top will help reduce the spicy factor.

Don't disregard this recipe if you're worries about the heat. If you've never had a chili with chipotles in adobo sauce before, you're missing out. They add a semi smoky flavor that is lacking in the pre-packaged chili flavoring powders. It will take a while to make this, but it's really worth it. And maybe if you're lucky your butcher can chop up the chicken for you.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, October 2010
Prep time: 1 1/2 hours (this is mostly the chicken's fault)
Cooking time: 1 hour

10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 jalapeno chile, halved (seeded if desired)
1 white onion, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (canned), finely chopped*
1 3/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

*I initially skimmed this recipe and bought 2 cans. You only need 2 whole chiles from 1 can.

Preheat broiler, with rack 3 inches from heat source. Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until starting to char, about 5 minutes. Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender or a food processor until chunky. Chop onion and mince garlic.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Working in batches, brown chicken in a single layer, allowing to sear before stirring, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic to skillet (feel free to add a little more oil if there's not enough grease in the skillet). Cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder and salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chipotles, and add chicken. Raise heat to high. Add tomato-jalapeno mixture. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until fully incorporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in stock; simmer for 30 minutes. Add beans; simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite chili toppings (sour cream, cheese, cilantro...).

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