Chicken Chili

Over the years, Mrak and I have learned to live with the fact that he loves football and I despise it. I credit two things with allowing me to survive football season: World of Warcraft and cooking. In terms of the latter, I made this chicken chili (adapted from an issue of Martha Stewart Living) for the UO Ducks win over the Wisconsin Badgers the other day. You can adjust the fieriness — I like it hotter, he likes it milder — by adding more chipotle toward the end. You can always just do what I do and add hot pepper sauce to your own portion.

Warning: taste your jalapeños before you use them. The heat can vary tremendously.

Also, double the batch and freeze it for a cold, rainy night. With or (hopefully) without football.

Chicken Chili (serves 4-6)

2 medium onions, roughly chopped

10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 jalapeño chile, halved (you can seed, or not)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighes

1/4 C. chili powder

3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped

1 3/4 C. chicken stock

1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Salt to taste

Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, and garlic, cut side down on baking sheet. Broil until starting to char, about 5 minutes. Chop the garlic and onion and put aside. Put tomatoes and jalapeño in a food processor and pulse until chunky.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. Brown chicken in batches (don’t crowd) for 5-6 minutes. When it cools a bit, chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Reduce heat to medium. Cook onion and garlic until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add chili powder and salt. Cook for another minute. Stir in chipotles and add chicken. Increase heat to high and add tomato and jalapeño mixture. Cook, scraping up any browned bits for 5 minutes.

Stir in stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes more. Serve with whatever toppings you like (cheese, sour cream, a big dollop of chili sauce, etc.).

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