There are about a million ways to make chili and people get pretty heated when it comes to the “right way” to make it or whose chili is best. The competitive spirit came out over the weekend when fellow blogger Anne hosted a Chili-Off Party.
For the party, I made my riff on my mom’s Chicken & Black Bean Chili. As kids, my sisters and I weren’t big fans of the ground beef-kidney bean combo so my mom concocted this chicken-based Tex Mex version. My chili tastes are much broader these days but this one is still a family favorite…and a pretty excellent one, if I do say so.
Despite all the smack talk, we were all too busy eating to actually declare a winner at the party, so we’re hosting Chili Week here on HAP to let you decide. Maybe you’ll find a new fave…or just reaffirm that your chili is the best around.
Chicken & Black Bean Chili
3/4 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 11 oz canned corn or 1 C frozen corn
1 can black beans
1/2 C pale ale beer
1 C chicken broth
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tsp salt
Optional ideas to serve with:
shredded cheddar cheese
small shell noodles
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, cook onion and chicken with 1-2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Season well with about 1 tsp salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon and chipotle powders and continue to cook 3-4 minutes until chicken is almost cooked. Add beer and simmer for 4-5 minutes until liquid reduces slightly. Then add corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken broth. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes so that flavors can meld. Taste test and season with additional salt.
Serve over cooked small shell noodles and top with cheese or other toppings.
A Side Note:
I’ve talked about chipotle powder before and I really can’t get enough of the stuff. With canned chipotle peppers I was always throwing out most of the jar, so this has become a “must” in my spice cabinet because I can use just what I need and control the heat better too. You can make this chili without it but I think it really elevates the flavor with a nice smoky heat.