Southwestern Chicken Chili

Busy weeknights are a common place occurrence at the Jennirific house.  Sometimes dinner makes it into the crockpot in the morning and sometimes it just doesn’t.  I am sure we all have those days. 
This recipe is a go to for me because it turns out wonderfully no matter which method I am able to apply to it, crockpot or stove top.  Packed with veggies, protein, and fiber this meal will keep the family fueled through all their activities!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and chopped (you may increase amount to taste)
  • 2 medium chopped red, green, and/or yellow bell pepper
  • 2 15- to 15-1/2 ounce cans Great Northern, pinto, or cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pot of Pot of Gold Bouillion
  • 1 lb chopped cooked chicken* (see note below)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped.
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
  • Broken tortilla chips (optional)

STOVE TOP METHOD:

  1. Add olive oil to a 4 quart or larger stock pan along with chopped onions.
  2. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and jalapeno pepper and continue to sauté, 1 minute
  4. Add bell pepper, beans, cumin, salt, chicken stock, and bouillon.
  5. Allow to come to boil
  6. Add chicken, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer.
  7. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  If chili seems too thin to your taste, remove lid while cooking to help reduce the liquid and thicken the chili.  The chili will continue to thicken after cooking, do not reduce all liquid.
  8. Stir in about ½ cup of chopped cilantro
  9. Serve, garnish with cheese and chips if desired.

Finished cooking and ready to serve!

CROCKPOT METHOD:

  • In a slow cooker stir together the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cumin and salt. Stir in chicken broth.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. If desired, top each serving with shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips.

*A note regarding adding cooked meat into recipes.
For this recipe I usually cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the same pot I will cook the chili in.  This allows the chili to soak up all the flavors left over from the cooked chicken.  That being said, you have to season the meat before cooking.  A simple sprinkle of black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder will give your meat a great flavor and ensure the dish you are adding it to also has a great taste.  Meat without seasoning equals bland food as an end result. 

Crock Pot Style – Stock from Scratch

Believe it or not, we live in a super busy world!  Time to turn to technology in the kitchen to make stock while we attend to other things (work, kids, whatever.)

In my experience, the finished product made in the crockpot is more condensed than the stovetop version.  When using in recipes, use 1/2 cup of stock mixed with 1/2 cup of water to achieve the correct flavor profile.

This does work better when NOT using a whole chicken, due to space limitations, but again make the method work for you! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 1       chicken carcass/bones from past meals* OR whole chicken**
  • 8       cups of water or as much as your crockpot will hold.
  • 1/2   large onion
  • 1/2   large carrot
  • 1/2   parsnip
  • 1       stalks of celery
  • 1/2   head of garlic
  • 1       bunch fresh parsley
  • 1       sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2      tbsp coarse salt
  • 8      peppercorns
  • 2      bay leaves
  • 2      Pot of Gold Bouillon portions.***

 

Method 

  1.   Place chicken into crockpot.  (at least 5 quart sized)
  2.   Cut onion, celery, carrot, and parsnip in half.  Add to pot.
  3.   Peel garlic and add whole cloves to pot
  4.   Fill crockpot with water.
  5.   Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low heat.
  6.   Allow stock to cook 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally.****
  7.   Taste and re-season if necessary, adding more salt or pepper. 
  8.   Strain stock into a large bowl or pot, discard what you strain out.
  9.   Allow stock to cool before storing.

*To make beef stock, simply use beef bones in place of chicken. Ask your butcher or at the grocery store meat counter for “bones to make stock/soup.” Sometimes they even have them in the meat area of the store.

**If you are using a whole chicken, remove it from the broth before straining and let cool on plate. Shred it and enjoy in meals throughout the week! 

*** I will no longer substitute made at home bouillon for those hard little cubes of not food, however we all get pressed for time. Make the recipe work for you 🙂

 ****You can cook on high setting for 6 hours.