Food Swings: Chicken Chili
By Jake Mathias
Hello, fellow eaters. The weather outside is downright terrifying but that doesn’t mean our food has to be.
October through April is one of the greatest times of the year: Chili Season. There’s just something about cold weather and gray skies that makes a steaming pot of chili tempting, and it’s always a hearty dish.
Better still, it freezes well and one large batch can last for several meals.
The ingredients needed are typically readily available in any pantry to make the most basic pot of chili. Don’t be a afraid to improvise: use whatever protein you have because beef, chicken, pork or even plain beans will work every time. All you need to add are some onions, stewed tomatoes, tomato juice and chili powder and you have a good foundation.
In my ever-failing attempt to eat healthier, I’ve chosen to add chicken- it’s cheap, lean and I always have it in the house.
When it comes to spices, again it’s a game of choice. I’m not a fan of spicy-hot chili, so adding additional spices, sauces or peppers should reflect your own tolerance of digestive discomfort.
You will need:
2 large onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 10 oz can tomato sauce
2 qts chicken stock
1 can diced green chiles
¼ cup chili powder
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup orzo pasta
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces (thighs add more flavor but breasts will be less fatty)
In a large pot, brown the chicken in the oil over medium high heat; add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often until onions are translucent.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low simmer for 30 minutes, until orzo is tender. Serve the chili topped with cheese, onions, sour cream or jalapeno.
Stay warm, and remember- live to eat!