Thursday, November 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cannellini Chili

I was so excited about cooking this recipe until my husband walked in the door. “What is that? That’s not chili!” he said disappointedly. Then my neighbor came over and chimed in with the same sentiment.
I’m proud to say the two naysayers loved the chili and we have no leftovers to speak of. This chili is delicious, slightly smoky, and spicy with great texture and depth of flavor. Not to mention healthy, but shhh, don’t tell!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Cannellini Chili

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1-3 hot peppers, seeded and chopped (I’d recommend using jalapenos, scotch bonnets or a combination for more flavor. 2 peppers creates a nice heat that builds; add 3 if you love it hot!)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili powder (try ancho or chipotle chili powder for added heat)
18 oz dried cannellini beans
3 cups chicken stock, divided
Garnish: sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro (this is purely optional – it’s almost overkill)

Soak the cannellini beans overnight in enough water to cover by 1-2 inches. Rinse and drain.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the chicken for 3-4 minutes.  Place in the slow cooker. Add more oil if needed and sauté the onion, peppers, oregano, cumin and chili powder until onions are tender and spices are fragrant. Add garlic and cook another minute. Place in slow cooker with the browned chicken.

Blend 1 cup of the beans and ½ cup stock in a food processor until smooth. Add this to the slow cooker along with the rest of the stock and beans.

Cook on low for 5-7 hours until the beans are tender the chili has thickened. Serve with crusty bread and garnish if desired.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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