Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chicken Chili

The chili!!!! At laaaaaaaaast!!!

Ok none of you were really that excited for this recipe. But it was perfect for the last four days of rain/cold/overcast weather, so it made Mike and I really happy.

This is one of my favorite chicken chili recipes of all time for a number of reasons.
1 - It does not require hours of simmering and layering of flavors and whatnot. Total cooking time is about an hour and a half.
2 - It is incredibly healthy. The only real source of fat is the olive oil, so your heart will thank you. (Well, and a little cheese...)
3 - It is oh so tasty.
The original recipe for this chili was by Giada De Laurentiis. She may be a very American-Italian cook in style, but I still like much of what she produces.
So, the chili:

·   2+ tablespoons olive oil
·   1 large onion, chopped
·   4 garlic cloves, minced
·   2 pounds ground chicken
·   1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
·   2+ tablespoons ground cumin
·   1+ tablespoon dried oregano
·   2+ teaspoons chili powder
·   3 tablespoons flour
·   2 (15-oz. cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained and puréed w/ splash chicken stock
·   1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces  baby spinach or chopped kale (kale will hold up better in leftovers)
·   11/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
·   4 cups 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
     1/2 cup white wine
·   1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (create your own heat level)
·   1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Pecorino Romano cheese
  1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley I don't use parsley in this dish

Obviously where I have slashed thru a description is where I altered something. Where I added a "+" sign next to the measured amount, it means I end up adding more than this along the way. I added white wine for deglazing, and I tend to have Pecorino Romano on hand more often, which is why I changed that from Parmigiano. And the original recipe does not call for the cannellini beans to be puréed. That is my personal preference.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. (I actually try to get a few brown bits going.)
Check out those knife skills! Do you see that cross-hatching? That is how to dice an onion.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Add the cumin, oregano, and chili powder & cook 1-2 min.  
Add chicken & salt. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. (I try to let the chicken get a little browned here as well, so don't stir too frequently.)
While your chicken is browning, use that time to purée the beans, if you choose to do so.
Stir the flour into the chicken mixture & cook 3 min. 
When your chicken is fully cooked and the flour taste cooked out, add the 1/2 cup of white wine to deglaze anything stuck to the bottom of your pan.
Add the beans, and stir to combine.
*I end up adding more oregano, chili powder & cumin here to taste. Beans absorb! 
Add the baby spinach (or chosen greens), corn, and chicken stock. 
Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon every 10 to 15 minutes. Simmer for 55-60 minutes total. Add the red pepper flakes about 10 minutes from the end. Season to taste. 
Serve in bowls & sprinkle with the Pecorino cheese and chopped parsley.

It is very important to finish with the grated cheese, as it rounds out the flavors as well as adding a nice final touch. If you ever save and freeze the rinds from your Parmigiano Reggiano wedges, they are great items to throw into dishes like this when they are simmering on the stove.

Should April bring another bout of dreary 50 degree weather, I suggest you make a large pot of this chili and hunker down on the couch.


Jennifer said...

That looks spectacular.

Erin said...

wow, that looks fantastic. and accessible. I find that any recipe I make I have to alter too. I heart Giada. And when I grow up I'm gonna be the barefoot countessa. A girl can dream right?

RocknRollGourmet said...

I wouldn't mind the upscale beach home town and rich hubby part... it's cooking everything with sticks of butter that I balk at.
But yes, excellent aspirations.

Leanne said...

This sounds really yummy! Adding to recipe clippings now,

Mainland Streel said...

I remember my mom frowning over ruined pots/pans of [insert name of food here] many a time after some snotty lady would give her a recipe lacking an ingredient or two. :)

Yay for sharing!