Monday, September 11, 2017

Surprise Protein Packed Chili

Summer is turning into Fall rather quickly around here!

A particularly unseasonably cool Summer Sunday gives me the desire to make a beautiful, steamy pot full of chili - one that is loaded with a mix of proteins to fill up my crew!

I can't wait to make this again to take to the field and add some buttermilk cornbread on the side.

As a note, there is a surprising ingredient in this recipe that brings a new, special elevation of flavor to the way I have previously made this recipe.


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion (I used frozen diced onions, eyeball it)
4 garlic cloves, minced 
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders (or breast meat), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound lean ground beef (add to the pot in bite-sized chunks)
1 - 12 ounce Hard Root Beer, divided (***see note 1 below)
3 small green peppers, diced (OR 1 large green pepper)
1 - 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced (***see note 2 below)
1 - 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (***see note 3 below)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
Heaping 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour)
Juice of 1 lime
Favorites toppings:  sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, etc)

Put it Together:
1.  Heat Olive Oil in large stock pot.
2.  Place diced onions and minced garlic in hot oil to cook down.
3.  Dice chicken and chunk the lean ground beef into bit sized pieces. Then place into stock pot with onions and garlic.  Cook down until no pink remains in the meats.
4.  Dice green peppers and chipotle chili, add to stock pot
5.  Add diced tomatoes, rinsed black beans, chili powder, ground cumin, and salt.
6.  Add HALF the Hard Root Beer, reserve the remaining HALF for later in the recipe.
7.  Bring chili to a boil over med-high heat.  Turn down to low and cover pot to cook on low/simmer for 30 minutes.  
8.  Add the remaining HALF of the Hard Root Beer to the heaping 1/4 cup of corn flour, and the lime juice and mix together.  Then pour into the chili mixture and cook another 30 minutes to thicken the soup.
9.  When it's done, dip out into bowls, add favorite toppings and enjoy!

1.  I used Hard Root Beer because I had it on hand and didn't like the way it tasted for drinking.  If you have a spicy chili (ie:  you add more chipotle to the mix), this is a great way to tone down the heat, but to give extra body to the liquid base of the chili.  You can also use regular beer as it gives the chili a really rich flavor, too.  Additionally, if you prefer regular, non-alcoholic root beer, it will work, it will just be sweeter than the other two options.
2.  Feel free to add more chipotle peppers to your chili if you really like the extra spice - jalapenos are also a great addition if you prefer.  My family doesn't like the "over the top" spicy heat of the jalapenos or extra chipotles.
3.  You can add up to 3 more cans of drained and rinsed beans of your choice if you like them and prefer your chili to be extra thick and chunky.  I stick to one can because my family isn't a huge fan of beans.  The chili is still quite thick even without the extra beans and still packed with nice, lean proteins.

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