I love doing one pot cookery, you can cook it earlier on in the day, and reheat it when you need it. Wonderful, especially if you’re going off to watch a outdoor Rugby game, or on a bracing walk. They are also a good thing to cook on cold, rainy days when there’s bugger all to do but potter around the kitchen. Stick some music on, a little Miles Davis perhaps, or Jamie Cullum, and just cook up a storm.
The idea of doing a chicken chilli had been brewing in my mind ever since I saw Ina Garten, one of my favourite American food personalities, cook one in her programme, Barefoot Contessa, on Food Network. I have discovered other versions of chicken chilli along the way; one involving chipotle chilli and beer from Ree Drummond, and a jerk chicken based one on Wit and Vinegar, a fabulous blog I have recently discovered; it’s written by a guy called Billy Green. Another version I came across was a non-tomato based one, which sounds quite intriguing doesn’t it? I am a tad unsure about doing the Mexican dish, Chicken Mole (pronounced ‘mol-lay’), which is chicken with a chilli sauce that has the addition of dark chocolate in it. It just doesn’t appeal to me, maybe one day I’ll be convinced though.
In Ms Garten’s version of chicken chilli, you roast the chicken portions, and then you shred the meat into the sauce. I read this and thought: Why? So when I went to make my own version, I decided to do the chicken in bite-size pieces, and browned them off before removing them to a plate, then I cooked the onion and pepper as usual. The first time I cooked this, I used a chilli con carne paste instead of a spice blend, and a can of cannellini beans instead of the traditional kidney beans. It was good, but I felt it lacked something. So I have played about with it from time to time, and I feel that this is the best version that I have come up with.
When I make this, I do wholemeal rice or tortilla wraps to go with. I have seen people do baked tortilla cups or tacos to go with chilli, and I’ve always wanted to do that, once I’ve found a foolproof way of doing it, I’ll show you how. I think there’s a book of food hacks called Mad Genius Tips, which I intend to get, it has instructions on how to do this kind of thing. I shall probably take notes from that and use those.
Jack’s Chicken Chilli – for 3-4 good portions
This one is a reworked version of the recipe I gave on my original site. It tastes better this one, more like a proper chilli.
5 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 small, or 1 large, red onions, cut into small dice
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
A little dried chilli flakes
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
300ml good chicken stock
1 regular can kidney beans in chilli sauce
Cooked brown rice or wholemeal tortilla wraps, warmed in the oven to serve
You can also put dishes of the following alongside this for everyone to put on as they want: guacamole, sour cream, salad, salted tortilla chips, and grated cheese.
In a large pot, heat a little sunflower oil. Once hot, brown the chicken, in batches. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion and cook until softened. When the onion is done, return the chicken. Add the spices and garlic, stir to combine. Allow to cook for a minute or two.
Add the tomatoes, stock and beans, plus their sauce. Stir. Cook for 45 minutes until thickened. You can cook it for longer on a really low heat if you prefer to do so.
Serve with brown rice or warmed wraps and the extras alongside, washing it down with lager and lime, or a Cola. Happy days!
Note: The spice blend that I use is one I found it in a Slimming World leaflet. I have used it before in my basic Tex-Mex Chilli recipe and I hope it will remain in my repertoire for many years to come.