Ingredients for Chicken Chili:
- 2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken thighs/breasts, cut into 3-4 large chunks
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped small
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt
- A bit of heat, via 1-2 jalapeños or other fresh hot pepper, minced (alternatively, ground chili powder)
- 1 29-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted
- 2 ⅔ cups of small dried beans
- 5 ⅓ cups of water (replace all or in part with chicken or vegetable broth)
- To serve: lime wedges, sour cream or Mexican crema, finely chopped white onion or thinly sliced scallion, chopped cilantro, corn or flour tortilla chips, and hot sauce
Directions for Chicken Chili:
- You’ll want to start by seasoning your boneless and skinless 50/50 mix of chicken thighs and breasts with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Press the seasoning into the meat, cover, and set it aside.
- It’s suggested that you use dried beans over canned beans for chili recipes, as they’re more economical, flavorful, and they’ll plump up without presoaking if used right.
- After prepping and dividing up all of your ingredients, you can honestly throw it all into a pot with the following cooking instructions:
- If you’re cooking this chili on the stove, you’ll simmer the ingredients on low until the beans are tender. This will typically take about 2 ½ to 3 hours with you stirring occasionally to ensure that the beans do not break down.
- If cooking this chili in a slow cooker, you’ll want to set the CrockPot or similar cooking instrument on HIGH for 4 ½ – 5 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours.
- If cooking this chili in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, you’ll want to set it at high pressure for 30 minutes, noting that manual release will work fine. This cooking time is designed for small beans like red or black beans, though if you’re using larger beans you’ll probably need to set the cooker to 35 minutes.
- To finish this recipe, you’ll first notice that your chicken has most likely fallen apart in the pot, but if not you’ll need to shred the chicken to your desired texture with two forks. If you’re using a pressure cooker, you’ll simply be able to do this with the back of a spoon.
- At this point, taste the chili and adjust the flavor with seasonings according to your taste and serve with fixings of your choice.
A suggestion for the best side dish and topping: Try your hand at making your own fresh tortilla chips. Estimate approximately two small corn tortillas per person and cut them each into 8 wedges. Take a large baking sheet, brush it lightly with olive oil, and then arrange the tortilla wedges in one layer. Afterward, lightly dip the tops of the wedges with more olive oil, and top it all off with a sprinkle of fine salt. Bake them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350°F, check for color, and add more baking time as needed. You’ll know the chips are done when they’re golden and crisp.
A note on kidney beans: this recipe doesn’t use red kidney beans, but small red beans instead, and they’re not soaked overnight. However, it should be noted that if you are using red kidney beans, that due to a protein called phytohemagglutinin, the FDA advises people who plan to use kidney beans in slow cookers to soak the beans for at least 5 hours first, drain the water. and boil them in freshwater for 10 minutes before continuing with the recipe.
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