Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Chili by the Fire

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 I love Sunday nights in the Fall... a roaring fire, a good bottle of wine, the playoffs, particularly if the Yankees are playing, and a nice bowl of chili.  I am not a football fan, but if you are, this is right up your alley too.

Today was the first day this week when we didn't have rain, at long last!  We spent all day unpacking more boxes, going back and forth to Home Depot and finally making some headway settling in the new house.  On the way back from the second trip, we saw a guy selling firewood, the good kind... pine... the one that makes all those nice crackling noises. And there it was, all planets aligned.   By five o clock I couldn't wait to take a hot shower, a drink and start cooking for the big event!

Recently I've been making chicken or turkey chili, not because it's healthier...after all that goes into it, why make a big deal between beef and chicken;  but it's lighter and I enjoy it more.  It's also a great way to use leftover roast chicken.  The addition of kidney beans serves to thicken it and gives it a nice flavor but you can leave them out if you prefer.  You will notice that there is no chili powder per se, but believe me, all the components are there.  I just prefer to have control of my heat and that is done through a combination of red pepper flakes, paprika, and ground chipotle chili pepper, which is really smoked jalapeno.  It is a "cleaner" heat, where you can taste all the individual spices instead of one.  And then, of course, there is beer to round things up.  A little cheese, a little sour cream, some tortilla chips and you're ready for burp city..I mean, you're ready to watch the game and keep your fingers crossed those Yankees make it to the finals!

Serves 4


1 chopped yellow onion
3 TB good olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch chipotle chili pepper powder (ground)
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt, 
1 (28-ounce) can Pomi chopped tomatoes
1/2 a broiled chicken or 2 lg chicken breasts or leftover turkey breast
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can pinto beans
6 oz. beer

For serving:
Corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream


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, paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, cilantro, red pepper flakes, chipotle, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered for 25 minutes.

Add the chicken, the beans, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Halfway through, add the beer.

Correct the seasonings. Let it rest on top of the stove for a few minutes before serving to let the flavors come together.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and some grated cheddar cheese.  Accompany with tortilla chips.

Cooks Note:  Heat means different things to people.  I suggest you start with a pinch of all the spices in the recipe and add according to your taste.  Don't skip any of them, it's a nice roundup, just go slow until you find the "heat" you like!

Turkey Chili: the secret here is the homemade turkey broth! I usually make turkey noodle soup at the same time and use the broth to lighten the chili as needed.  Substitute wine wine for the beer.


  1. This looks absolutely deliciosa. Sounds like if this is Saturday evening supper, we are in luck!

  2. I like the heat. Made some home made corn chips that would be just awesome with your fabulous chicken chili!!


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