I love to cook, and one of the easy, healthy, go-to chicken recipes that I make quite a bit is Chicken Chili with Beans. I thought I would share it — and experiment with making a YouTube cooking video.
I start off by making my own beans. I use my pressure cooker, which speeds up the cooking time. There is no need to soak your beans beforehand. We find that these beans have much more flavor than canned beans. Also, you can control how much salt you are adding, and reduce unwanted sodium.
For the beans (or just use canned beans, drained and rinsed):
1 pound dry small red beans
1 large onion, cut in half (unpeeled)
1 large carrot, snapped into three pieces
1 rib of celery, cut into quarters
4 to 5 cloves of garlic (whole and unpeeled)
9 cups of water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Put all of the ingredients in your pressure cooker, and secure the lid. Over medium-high heat, bring the cooker up to high pressure. Once at high pressure, turn the heat down to a simmer, so the pressure stays at high for 28 minutes. Take the pressure cooker off of the heat and let it release naturally. Once pressure is released it’s safe to open up your pressure cooker. Test the beans to see if they are to your liking. The beans should be tender but not mushy. If you find them to need more cooking, simply simmer a little longer with the lid off until they reach the desired doneness, stirring often. Drain the beans. Discard vegetables and garlic skins, but retain cooked garlic with the beans for added flavor. You will end up with 6 cups of cooked beans. I usually add 2 cups into the chili, putting the remainder in the freezer for future use. They freeze well in a plastic container and defrost in minutes in the microwave.
For the chili:
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (or just use 2 pounds of ground chicken)
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 poblano peppers roughly chopped
1 serrano pepper, finely minced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely minced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1/2 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons cumin, ground
8 ounce can tomato sauce
14 ounce can of chicken broth
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons masa (corn flour)
1/4 cup hot water
Optional toppings: Cilantro, avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc.
For my chili, I like using ground chicken instead of beef. It’s not always easy to find ground chicken in the stores. Also, you never know what they are including in their grind. So I buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs (richer flavor) or breasts (less fat), and grind them myself, in my food processor. To make things even easier, start with chicken that is just slightly frozen.
In batches, pulse or chop the chicken in the food processor until ground. In a cast iron dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the poblano, serrano, and jalapeño peppers and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Combine the spices in with the sautéed vegetables. Then add the ground chicken to the pot to brown. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring to break up the meat occasionally. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, and canned tomatoes. Stir to combine, and let simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the masa in the hot water making a smooth sauce and add to the chili, stirring thoroughly. Let simmer another 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
Toppings that we like on our chili are: chopped cilantro, diced avocado, grated Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, unsalted Donkey tortilla chips. I like to line my bowl with a flour tortilla and when I get down to the last bit of chili, roll it up in the warm gooey tortilla. Yum!!