QUICK: It’s 11 am and you find out you’ve got a huge house full of last-minute company coming for dinner. What do you make??
For me, the answer is that once my minor heart attack is over and I’ve finished my panicked scramble through every cookbook in the house:
Light and healthy chicken chili for the win!!
Last week we were blessed enough to have two of Handyman’s Tim’s uncles, 1 aunt, and my good friend Zina all visiting from out of town on the same evening. Though I know the family members, we haven’t seen them in a couple of years and I’ve never cooked for them before. I was so nervous about what they might like but I knew that they all are very health conscious.
To make matters more complicated, right in the middle of the dinner hour, I had to be driving to the airport to pick up Zina rather than in the kitchen making the meal. Our dinner had to be ready to go when I walked in the door even though I wasn’t there to cook it.
Then I remembered a recipe I used to make all the time but haven’t in a number of years. This crazy easy chicken chili is loaded with fresh veggies and 100% delicious:
It was the perfect solution. To bulk it up, I used 2 rotisserie chickens and shredded the breast, leg, and thigh meat. The rest is all just chopping and sautéing in a big soup pot. I left it to simmer for several hours on the stovetop. I popped a batch of Italian bread into the bread machine so that we even had warm bread to go with it right at serving time.
My favorite part about this chili is: NO BEANS!! Woot! I can’t stand those things, they make chili so mealy tasting to me. This is more like a really chunky hearty stew but only has 3 Weight Watchers points per serving! (Without the toppings.)
I serve it with these toppings options: shredded cheddar, sour cream, and green onions. It goes super well with tortilla chips, Frito chips, or homemade bread.
It freezes PERFECTLY so it is the best freezer stocking recipe ever. You can store it in individual containers for lunches at work or at home.
To sell it to the kids, I called it “Hot salsa soup” since it features many of the same ingredients and flavors as The Peanut’s favorite salsa. She was so distracted by the pile of tortilla chips, she was willing to eat anything if it meant dipping them in. Ha!
- 2 rotisserie chickens, shred the breast, leg, and thigh meat. Discard skin and bones.
- 4 tbps olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 2 yellow bell peppers, diced
- 3 onions, diced
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (The chili is barely spicy, if you like it hotter increase this a bit.)
- 3 28-ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
- 1 tsp dried basil
- freshly ground black pepper
- Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions
Shred the chicken meat and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium and then sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt and continue to sauté until fragrant.
In a food processor, puree the canned tomatoes with sauce until slightly chunky/smooth. You may have to work in batches. Add to the pot with the reserved chicken and dried basil.
Simmer over low heat for a minimum of 30 minutes but can be kept simmering for several hours covered.
Serve with the toppings of choice.
Can be frozen.