My Chicken Chili
My favorite rotisserie chicken is Whole Foods’ salt and pepper chicken. But to save money (and clean out your freezer), cook your own chicken. You will have fresh chicken broth, and the bouillon cubes are optional. You need 3 cups chopped cooked chicken for this recipe. And halve this recipe, using 8 ounces dried beans and 1½ cups chicken, to feed a smaller group.
- 1 pound (16 ounces) dried navy or Great Northern beans
- 9 cups water
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- ½ onion, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped red and yellow bell peppers
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, chopped fresh tomatoes, salsa, chopped avocado
- Rinse and pick over the dried beans to remove any hard bean or particle that isn’t a bean. Place the beans in a large bowl and pour boiling over them to cover them by one inch of water. Let the beans soak for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. Drain off the water, and place the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the 9 cups water, bouillon cubes (if using), onion, and bay leaves. Place the lid on the pot and heat over medium-high until boiling, then reduce to low and simmer 1¾ to 2 hours, or until tender.
- When the beans have cooked 1¾ hours, check them for doneness, and if done turn off the heat. If not, let them continue cooking while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Place the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the mixture is soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Set aside. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Place the onion mixture, chicken, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in the pot with the beans and stir to combine. Simmer over medium-low heat until well combined, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, tomatoes, your favorite salsa, avocado, you name it.
Note: This is a mild chili. If you want spicier, add chopped and seeded jalapeno peppers, a can or Rotel tomatoes, and more chili powder.