When my father told me he was putting a turkey chili up against our chicken one, I became concerned about the legitimacy of our competition.
Some would argue that a recipe without beef can scarcely be labeled as chili. This debate is immaterial to me, but I do have some advice for the poultry-chili-is-chili camp: give it up.
Why would a delicious chicken, turkey, or bean stew want to call itself chili? Chili is the most bastardized stew there is. It is routinely reduced to a mere condiment—spooned in all its greasy ignominy atop fries, hotdogs, nachos, and even pasta. Its near relatives include the sloppy joe and beef macaroni. More often than not, home cooks season it from a pouch.
Don’t get me wrong, beef chili done right is delicious. But sometimes the specter of chili’s various permutations makes even the best bowl hard to handle.
Our chicken concoction is flavorful, healthy and satisfying. It won’t go well with fries or hot dogs, but pair it with a baking soda biscuit and you’ll be sitting pretty.
Holy Mole Chicken Chili
– 2 lbs. chicken breast
– 2 cans great northern beans, drained (not rinsed)
– 1 can black beans, drained (not rinsed)
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 14 oz. mild or medium salsa
– 1 bottle beer
– 1 onion
– 2 poblano peppers
– 1 tbsp. minced garlic (4-8 cloves)
– 1 tbsp. tomato paste
– 2 tbsp. dried oregano
– 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
– 1 tbsp. ground cumin
– 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
– Salt and pepper
– Extra virgin olive oil
Poach chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes in salted water. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces, set aside. Sauté onions and peppers in extra virgin olive oil until tender. Stir in tomato paste until combined. Add chicken, garlic, oregano, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, cocoa powder, and ground cinnamon. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until flavors are well combined. Add 3 cans beans, diced tomatoes, salsa, and beer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until chili thickens. Salt and pepper to taste.