Given all the restaurant eating of late, I was initially excited about our plans to dine at home last night ... until 6:30 p.m. rolled around and I realized that there was no one here to take my order. I searched high and low for the waitress, but she was no where to be found. What kind of restaurant is this? Oh, that's right, *I'm* the waitress tonight ... and the chef. You know what that means ... chicken!
I knew I needed to make something easy and hearty so I turned to The South Beach Quick & Easy Cookbook and decided to adapt one of its chili recipes. The original called for turkey cutlets, but I opted to substitute some ground chicken breast. I upped the amount of chili powder, added some tomato paste for richness and also added some cocoa powder. This last addition may sound strange to you - but I never make chili without the addition of some form of chocolate. It adds depth and balance to the chili / tomato flavors and is a complete necessity in my book. I use whatever I've got on hand - sometimes its cocoa powder, other times I may add a small square of bittersweet chocolate and let that melt into the chili. Sooooo luscious. Try it, you'll like it!
I served it over some brown rice pilaf, with a side of steamed summer squash, and it was an altogether delicious meal. The husband loved it too. As you may have guessed ... there was no busboy here to clear the table and the dishwasher seemed to have taken the night off as well. Leading me to conclude that while the food at this particular "restaurant" was magnificent, the service leaves something to be desired!
Chicken and White Bean Chili:
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken breast
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes*
- 1 heaping tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder*
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- one 14.5 oz. can of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeño
- 2 tsp. roasted garlic tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- one 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- minced fresh parsley or cilantro
- shredded, reduced fat cheddar cheese
- minced red onion
- non-fat sour cream
Add the rinsed and drained beans, and let the chili simmer for an additional 15 minutes or so, until the beans are warmed and the mixture has thickened slightly. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, pepper and whatever else you like. If the chili becomes too thick at any point, you may add additional broth to your liking.
Serve topped with any and all of the suggested garnishes and enjoy!
* Notes - As written, this combination of spices will yield a very spicy chili. If you're heat-averse you can omit both the crushed red pepper flakes and the chipotle chili powder. If you opt to leave out the chipotle, you may need to add some additional chili powder - let your taste buds be your guide. I like it spicy, but YMMV. Lastly, feel free to use whatever sort of beans you like in this chili, any kind will do.
According to the book, this recipe will yield 4 one and a quarter cup servings, but it can certainly be doubled if you like to batch-cook.