Friday, July 25, 2014

Spicy Chicken Vegetable Chili

I think my taste buds are changing again. Lately all I want is to make my food spicy. Not like "burn your tongue and now you can't even taste the food because it's so hot" spicy, but just a good flavorful spicy. I've been sneaking in some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce wherever I can. Tonight I'm making stuffed jalapeños wrapped in bacon for a potluck we're going to. I've never been a big jalapeño fan, and don't usually go out of my way to buy them unless a recipe calls for them, but we had a bag full of them in our CSA share and I've been craving them all week. I've never actually made them before, so I brainstormed what I thought would taste good stuffed in them. I guess we'll see what happens!

Speaking of spicy, this chili definitely satisfied that craving. I've been covering some evening classes at the gym while one of our trainers studies for the bar exam at the end of the July. That means I'm not getting home from the gym on those nights until after 8:30. Not really a lot of time for getting crafty in the kitchen, so I thought chili one night would be pretty easy. I wanted to switch it up from my usual three meat (beef/pork/bacon) chili, and decided chicken would be a fantastic option. I was right! I love it when new ideas pay off! 

Spicy Chicken Vegetable Chili

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Serves: 4-6

Special Tools:

3 pounds of chicken breasts, cubed (about 4 pieces if using organic, free-range)
1 large zucchini, halved and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 medium (or 2 large) carrots, chopped
1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced 
1 (14oz) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (12oz) jar of salsa authentica (red), no sugar added
1 (12oz) jar of salsa verde (green), no sugar added
1 tbsp of chili powder
1 tbsp of cumin
1/2 tbsp of course sea salt
1/2 tbsp of coriander
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional, for more heat)
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
guacamole, for garnish
extra lime, for garnish

1. Start with cubing your chicken. I like mine to be somewhat still frozen because it makes it super easy to chop up into cubes and since it's slow cooking all day anyway, time isn't of the essence! Add it to the crockpot when done. *Kitchen safety tip: If you want to defrost your chicken a little, don't do it in hot water (which causes bacteria to grow), do it in cold.
2. Chop your veggies and add it to the crockpot with the chicken. 
3. Top everything with the broth, lime juice, tomatoes, salsas, and seasoning. Give it a good stir.
4. Set the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. The chicken should be fall apart tender!
5. Serve on top of cauliflower rice and garnish with guacamole and more lime juice, which helps to cut the heat a little but definitely enhances the flavor. 

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