We’ve had one of our first snaps of cold down here in Louisiana. While my nose stuffs up and everyone down here gets sick as we enter winter, I still love it. I tend to be a bit of a wimp in cold weather. Here’s an example that might give some of you who live in truly cold weather a nice chuckle. In this current cold snap, our days are in the low 70s (beautiful weather), and our nights are in the 30s/40s. On my bed I have two flat sheets, a quilt, a matelasse, a microfiber blanket, another quilt, and a knitted blanket. If it gets colder, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve run out of blankets!
But cold weather is still my favorite. Not only do I really enjoy the weather, I really enjoy the food. With this cold snap, I decided to pull out this recipe for Chunky Chicken Chili that I’d originally found on Recipezaar. In this second go-round of making this dish, I changed a couple of things to suit my taste buds. Here’s what I did. First, the ingredients list:
- 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 can of black beans, drained and beans washed of goo
- 3/4 cup of frozen bell peppers (or thereabouts, I didn’t measure this, it’s a guess)
- 3/4 cup of frozen diced onions
- 2/3 cup of frozen corn
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
There are lots of things the original recipe uses that I don’t: cilantro, black olives, beer. I think this is a recipe where you can really throw things in and out of it at will. Now, onto the cooking.
Place your cut-up chicken pieces into a heavy, large sauce pan with 1 tsp of olive oil.
Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Once the chicken looks sort of like this, remove it from the pot to a bowl lined with paper towels. Then, wipe your pot clean and place it back on the burner.
Add the frozen diced onions and bell peppers to your pot. Now, you could use fresh if you have it. I didn’t, so frozen it was.
Next add 1 tsp of cumin seeds. I was having fun with my macro lens so you have a bunch of close up photos of seasonings for your viewing pleasure today.
Add the cumin seed in the pot with the bell peppers and onion.
Next add your 1 tsp of chili powder to the pot. The original recipe calls for twice this amount. That was a bit too much for me, so I cut the amount in half.
Mix it all around. It will take on a wonderful red hue.
Measure 3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano. This goes in to the pot along with
your can of tomato sauce.
Add 1/4 tsp of salt
and pepper to the mix.
Return your chicken back to the pot and mix it all together. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes of simmering, add 1 cup of frozen corn to the pot.
You will also add the drained black beans at this point. If you don’t care for black beans, I’m sure that a can of chili beans would taste great here as well.
Mix it all together. You want to simmer this mixture for another 15 – 20 minutes.
After you throw in the frozen corn and black beans, this is the perfect time to whip up some cornbread. I love Jiffy mix cornbread. It takes about 15 minutes to bake. YUM! I love cornbread (oh wait, didn’t I just say that?).
And I especially love my cornbread topped with this chili.
Today’s lunch I’m bringing to work consists of 1 container of chili and one of cornbread. That’s it. Nothing fancy. But it’s good, hearty, and warm, and I’m really, really, really looking forward to lunch today.
Be the bento everyone! I hope you have a great Thursday.