Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicken Chili

One of my closest friends from high school is about to have her first baby, and I couldn't be more excited for her! As Cathy and her husband await the arrival of their little girl (only 10 or so days to go!), I started thinking about what I could do for them once the baby is here. Cathy is a great cook, but I know she's going to be tired and stretched thin as she adjusts to motherhood, so I wanted to help make a couple nights after baby's arrival that much easier.

As I searched for great freezer-friendly recipes, I came across this Chicken Chili on Annie's Eats. It sounded like a nice twist on a classic, and I figured it was a recipe that would suit their tastes well. The weather was decidedly fall-like today, which made it a perfect day to open the kitchen door and put a pot of chili on the stove. I managed to put most of this into Tupperware containers that went straight into the freezer, but not before I tasted a bowl for myself. I had to make sure it was tasty before I gave it away! I think this chili was perfect for freezing, and will make a healthy and comforting meal for the new parents. And the overflow will be great for my lunch tomorrow, too :)

Chicken Chili
From Annie's Eats, originally from Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
4 cups chopped yellow onion (2-3 onions)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 bell peppers (I used 1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely diced
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 (28 oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes in puree, not drained
2 (15 oz.) cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can black and 1 can pinto beans)


Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the chicken breasts on the foil, and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil over the chicken breasts to make a “packet”. Roast 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Allow to cool enough to handle, then shred or chop into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions 10-15 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the chopped bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano, chipotle, and kosher salt. Cook 5 more minutes.

Place the canned tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly so the tomatoes are cut to large chunks. Add the tomatoes with the puree to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the shredded chicken and the beans, and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.

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