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Friday, October 3, 2014

Chicken and Poblano Chili

For day 3 of Soup Month 2014 we gave ordinary chili a major upgrade with this Chicken and Poblano Chili.  Not only is this a delicious bowl of chili for those cool fall evenings, this chili is even pretty healthy.

This "family-friendly chili" (as in not super spicy) has wonderful layers of flavor starting with the homemade chicken stock (or you could use packaged), and it's well worth the extra time to make your own stock.  The poblanos add a rich medium spice to the chili and the smoked paprika adds a hint of smokey flavor and a beautiful orange-red color.  Since the chili is not overly spicy,  it's perfect for kids, but you can always add the extra chili powder and cumin, as noted below, if you prefer a more spicy chili.

We used great northern beans in this chili because of their delicate flavor and the way they absorb the flavor of the broth.  (If your kids are a little hesitant to eat beans in their chili, try mashing some of the beans into the broth.  Just add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick.)  Great northern beans can be added to almost any chili or soup and they are a good source of fiber, iron, potassium and protein.

5  Chicken Quarters (leg and thigh), skin removed
4 quarts  Water
2 TB  Olive Oil
1  White Onion, finely diced
1  Poblano Pepper, seeds removed and chopped
2 TB  Minced Garlic
2 TB  Chili Powder  (add 1/2 TB more for more heat)
2 tsp  Cumin (add 1 tsp more for more heat)
2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp  Smoked Paprika
2 15 oz cans  Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
2 TB  Yellow Cornmeal

In a large soup pot, boil the chicken quarters in 4 quarts of water over high heat until fully cooked, and the meat pulls easily from the bone, about 45 - 60 minutes.  Remove chicken from the pot, reserving the chicken stock, and cool until the chicken is cool enough is handle.  Remove the meat from the bones, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and paprika, and stir to combine.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the cooked chicken, beans and 4 cups of the reserved broth to the pot.  (If you do not have enough broth just add a bit of water to equal the 4 cups.)  Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in the cornmeal and simmer until the chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with a sprinkle of diced jalapeno peppers for a little extra spice and a few tortilla chips on the side.  Enjoy!!

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