Chicken Chili with White Beans
Chili is a staple at every Super Bowl party but, let’s face it, most versions made with ground beef and store-bought seasoning mixes leave you feeling guilty and stuffed, and desperately searching for a TUMS. Not this one. This is a healthy chili that you can actually feel good about eating: it’s made from scratch, loaded with veggies, and chock-full of protein rich chicken and beans. Don’t worry, it’s still hearty and delicious, and even your manly football fanatics will love it.
At first glance, the list of ingredients looks long but it’s really just a lot of spices; and while it simmers on the stove for almost two hours, active cooking time is only about 30 minutes. It’s important to use regular ground chicken – not the extra lean all breast meat – and same goes if you’re substituting ground turkey.
Use Pomi boxed chopped tomatoes if you can find them…they’re far superior to canned and lend good texture. Also, feel free to double up on the heat if you like a spicier chili; this one is family friendly with a nice, moderate heat.
Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and have a fun Super Bowl Sunday…and if you’re not into football like me, at least enjoy some chili :)
3 tablespoons chili powder (chili powders can vary; I use McCormick in the plastic jar)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (about 2 medium onions)
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground chicken (not extra lean breast meat)
2-26 oz. boxes Pomi* chopped tomatoes or two 28 oz. cans chopped or diced tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson organic)
1 teaspoon sugar
1-15 oz. can small Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1. Make spice mixture by combining chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Mix well and set aside next to stove.
2. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive** pot over medium heat. Add onions and red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring to prevent garlic from burning, about two minutes more.
3. Increase heat to medium high and add the ground chicken and spice mixture. As the chicken cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the meat into very small clumps; cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, remaining teaspoon salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered (set lid ajar so steam has a few inches to escape), for about one hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in white beans and let simmer, uncovered, for about 50 minutes more, or until meat is tender and flavors are well combined. For a soupier chili, you can add additional water. For a thicker chili, simmer uncovered until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if necessary.
*Pomi boxed tomatoes are available at some regular grocers, Whole Foods and gourmet food shops.
**A nonreactive pot is made of a material that will not react negatively with acidic ingredients. Stainless steel, enamel, glass and nonstick (as long as there are no scratches in the nonstick coating) are all safe to use. Do not use cast iron or aluminum.
Note: If your kids are sensitive to spice, omit the red pepper flakes or cut back on both the cayenne and red pepper flakes. You can always add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to individual portions after chili is cooked.