Faux Chicken Chili

Chili is one of my favorite cold weather cooking projects. It is perfectly filling and satisfying. You can put cheese on it. You can have some crusty bread. You can pretty much make your dreams come true... provided you aren't a vegetarian. However, in the spirit of eating healthier... and trying new things I did some research on "chicken chili" this weekend.

I ended up going with this Ina Garten option primarily because I have like 6 jars of diced tomatoes in my cabinet. I'm currently in the process of trying to cleanse my cabinets by either eating or tossing the contents. My previous amount of pride in 7 types of flour is gone. I only see it as hoarding now. 

This chili came together super easily and I would deduce that it is seemingly much healthier than my old favorite. That being said, I don't think I can actually call it a "chili". It lacks those things that I associate with chili. It does taste delicious and has very minimal salt. If you happen to hate bell peppers, you'll hate this. It is chock full of them. I'l have to keep this recipe in mind next year when the garden is overflowing.

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) 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. 

(Step 2) Add the diced tomatoes and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(Step 3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

(Step 4) 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. 

(Step 5) Let chicken cool slightly and then shred it. You can either just cut it into small chunks or pull it apart with two forks. Sounds confusing. Isn't really. Just give it a shot. Add chicken to the chili and simmer for 20 minutes

(Step 6) Serve in bowls!

Shopping List

4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1 shallot diced
4 bell peppers (primarily red and yellow for sweet flavor)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
3 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz cans)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1+ lb chicken breasts (I think I had 1.3 lbs)
Freshly ground black pepper

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