Monday, May 28, 2012

Ina Garten's Chicken Chili

 This recipe is SUPER simple and doesn't take all day to prepare. I saw Miss Ina making it on a recent episode of The Barefoot Contessa and immediately wanted to try it. You know how some recipes are all about slow simmering all day on the stove top? Well, not this one. It's done in under 2 hours and it's SO chunky and hearty! You'll love it! It's also really convenient because you can make it in advance and just reheat it when it's time to serve. It's actually BETTER after it sits in the fridge for a day or two. So, give this one a try! No need to wait for a chilly day to make it a chili day!
Thanx, Miss Ina!

4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/8 cup minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, & large-diced
2 medium yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded & large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on*
freshly ground black pepper
onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, & sour cream (optional, for serving)

 Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
 Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, and sour cream for toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Joey's Tips:
*Instead of roasting the chicken breasts, I just bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and then pulled all the meat from the bones once it was cool enough to handle. I HIGHLY recommend doing this because it was so easy, I used the whole chicken which was quite a bit, and the meat was SO tender that it fell apart. And if it's a warm day, then there's no need to turn on the oven! Perfect!
If you like beans in your chili, go for it! Just rinse and drain a can of any kind of beans, and then add them to the pot. Red, white, or black beans..... even a regular can of pork and beans, all good! (of course, you wouldn't drain or rinse the pork and beans, but you already knew that, right?)
If you like a spicier chili, then go ahead and double the amount of the spices. I omitted the cayenne pepper and crushed pepper flakes because I don't like the heat, but if you're all about it, go for it! In fact, add any kind of hot peppers you like! Jalapenos, etc, whatever you like! If you're serving a large group, leave the hot ingredients out of the pot, and serve them along with the toppings. Let your guests have the choice!

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