Rare is the evening where I have pre-planned a dinner menu. Rare is the evening when I haven’t just thrown together leftovers or stood in front of the fridge at 5:00 in a complete panic. (Or worse: stood in front of the fridge at 5:00, slack jawed, glassy eyed and muttering to myself like an idiot.)
Certain days (like today, where I painted two bathrooms, chased Grant around, did my mommy/wifey things, etc.) I can feel a bit, um, overwhelmed. There are also certain days where I feel like the biggest fraud of a home-maker.
Often those days go together like Domino’s and the delivery guy… like peanut butter and jelly (for dinner! yay!)… like scrambled eggs and failure…
It is on those days where I happily cheat. I cut corners. I take the easy way out. Thank you, thank you, thank you for Chicken Chili!
My dear friend, Jen, made her version of this for me and I demanded the recipe. (I may or may not have ridden her like a pony until she gave it up…..) I eventually tweaked it to the point that I now have a version of my own and consider it to be my recipe… but I must always give Jen the nod she deserves, because she started it all. (And she may or may not still have marks from my riding crop on her butt…)
This chili is more like a tortilla soup, but a bit thicker. It is incredibly forgiving. Translation? You can’t screw it up.
It freezes beautifully, and I always make a triple batch and freeze it for later. Nights like tonight? I pulled it out of the freezer at 6:00 and had it ready to serve by 6:30.
Oh! And also? It’s very high in protein and very low in fat.
(Updated 4/29/2009 to participate in Extreme Makeover: Me Edition’s request of the week: Healthy Recipe. Go here for more healthy recipes.)
In a large stock pot, throw:
3 3/4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 cans white beans (15 oz, drained)
2 cans black beans (15oz drained & rinsed)
2 cans pinto beans (15 oz drained)
2 cans corn kernals (15 oz drained)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cans drained diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
6 crushed cloves garlic
1 24 oz jar of salsa (I like Vons’ brand “Safeway Select Chipotle Salsa”)
2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (I try to use boneless skinless thighs and sometimes I use chicken breasts or leftover chicken)
Stir until boiling, let simmer 25 minutes, remove chicken. When cool, pull chicken off bones and put back into chili.
Toss in the following and stir:
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp cumin
1 to 2 Tbsp oregano
Simmer, uncovered, for an hour or two.
(To be completely honest, I never measure these ingredients anymore… it’s just kind of to taste.) I top with grated cheddar or jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips, or serve over rice.
Freeze leftovers for the next time you have a crazy day and need a quick dinner.
When I say that this is what’s for dinner, all 4 of my kids and my husband say “Cool!”
That’s the same as 4 stars in my book.