Spice up Your Spring, Part 3

You’ve seen from my other posts that I am rather fond of chili.  I should just write a chili cookbook.  It’s so versatile and comforting!  I saw this recipe in Prevention Magazine (January, 2016), and I had about everything in the pantry, so I started this up while my St. Paddy’s corned beef was being handled by my trusty pressure cooker.

http://www.prevention.com/food/8-clean-eating-comfort-food-recipes?slide=4

Chicken Chili

SERVES: 8 / TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes

1 oz dried guajillo chiles
2 c boiling water
1 onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) green chiles
2 chipotle peppers
2 Tbsp adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic, smashed
¾ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¾ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 Tbsp oil
1 qt reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cans (14 oz each) unsalted beans, drained
1 can (12 oz) beer
2 bunches Swiss chard

1. STEEP dried chiles in boiling water until soft, 15 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup liquid.
2. PUREE in blender soaked chiles and reserved liquid with onion, green chiles, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and garlic.
3. TOSS chicken with cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
4. HEAT oil in pot over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until brown, 8 minutes; remove. Add chile puree to pot; cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth, beans, beer, and chicken. Boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender, 1 hour. In last 10 minutes, stir in Swiss chard. Cook until tender.
5. SERVE and top with your choice of the following: jicama, hummus, lime, Wasa crackers, cornichons, radish, cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, pickled jalapeños.

NUTRITION (per serving) 307 cal, 27 g pro, 25 g carb, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 10 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 808 mg sodium

Soooooo, before I went to culinary school and learned to ALWAYS label my products with the name and date (either cooked or opened), I was very haphazard about identifying partially used products.  There was a bag of dried peppers in the corner kitchen cabinet, where we keep some spices, the oils, vinegars, and lots of odds and ends.  I have a vague recollection of buying them, though I have no idea why or what we actually made with them. I THINK they are ancho chiles, but I really have no idea.  So those are the peppers I used for step one.  After draining, I reserved the remaining liquid, let it cool, and put it in a zip bag in the freezer.  That water may make a spicy addition to a future soup or chili.

I cut this recipe in half, using only chicken thighs.  I intended to send a serving to Client, a serving to Jin, and keep a couple servings for us to eat (because it is still cold here).   I used a can of pinto beans and 1/2 a can of chick peas for the beans, an orange shandy for the beer, and wilted 5 ounces of spinach in the last 10 minutes (instead of the Swiss chard).

20160406_182009-1

I thought the chili was pretty spicy, and that was just from a quick taste. Husband said it needed salt, so I salted and we tasted again.  He said there was something in the flavor he didn’t like, but he couldn’t really put his finger on it.  I have a feeling the dried chiles added a bitterness, or he may have been noticing the beer flavor (he isn’t a drinker at all).  I thought the beer created only an aroma, but I couldn’t swear that there wasn’t a flavor element involved.  I topped the dish with sour cream and a Mexican cheese blend to tame the heat when I ate a full serving.  It helped, but the chili was still pretty spicy (not unpleasantly so).  It also wasn’t as thick as most chilies; it was definitely more of a soup.  Verdict:  I’m not sure I’d make this one again.  It was okay, but I have more successful chilies I’d be more likely to gravitate toward if I was looking for a crowd-pleaser.

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