Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jalepeno Popper Chicken Chili

Happy snowy Sunday, everyone! Hope you are all surviving this never ending winter. If you're struggling, maybe I can help with that... If you're like me and love warm, delicious soup on bitterly cold days, then I think you should try this recipe for Jalepeno Popper Chicken Chili! Don't be thrown off by the fact that it sounds pretty spicy. I actually thought it could use quite a bit more heat. Granted, I have a pretty high tolerance for spicy stuff, but everyone that ate it (me, my mom, my aunt, and my cousins) thought it was pretty mild. Just throwing that out there in case hot stuff scares you! I found the recipe for this chili on Pinterest a couple weeks ago (original recipe here), and it's another one of those that I just couldn't stop thinking about. My mom came down to visit this weekend, and I asked if she thought it sounded good. She sure did, and because we were both pretty pumped about it, we gave it a go yesterday. One word: YUM. I don't necessarily know what I expected, but it was even better than I thought! I am still semi-picky, so I left out a couple of the ingredients it called for (though I still included those ingredients in the list below), but I don't think that made much of a difference. I took lots of pictures, so bear with me! I really hope you give this a try. My only regret is that we didn't make it a double batch right off the bat! ;)
 The ingredients!
 Dice up your red pepper.
 And your onion. (Recipe calls for regular, but I had some green I needed to use up. Worked perfectly!)
 Get ready to slice and dice (well, mince) those jalepenos!
 Peel some garlic and mince (or in our case, grate) it!
 Seriously, how damn cute is that little mini grater?!
 Get all your veggies together and get them ready to throw in the pot.
 Dice up your chicken into bite-sized pieces and season it with salt and pepper.
 Now it's time to make the magic happen! Heat up your oil in a large pot.
 When the oil's nice and hot, throw your veggies in the pan. Looks like Christmas, and I love it!:)
 Saute them up real good for about 5-7 minutes. Your sense of smell will love you at this point!
 Move your veggies to the side and throw in the chicken to start browning it.
In the meantime, measure out your spices. Mmm!
 Once the chicken is no longer pink, throw your spices right in the pot and stir it up!
 Then add your diced tomatoes.
 And your chicken broth. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
 In the meantime, slice up some bacon and fry it up. (This is to top the chili, so it's optional, but well worth it!)
 Drain the bacon and set it aside.
 Feel free to fix yourself a bloody mary and enjoy that while you wait. ;)
 Man, look how beautiful that is after it's been simmering awhile!
 Cube up your cream cheese into large chunks.
 Throw those large chunks into the pot!
 And add in some cheese.
 As it all melts, your chili will transform into this beautiful orange color!
Wish I would've gotten a better picture of the final serving, but trust me when I say it's amazing!

INGREDIENTS (Don't be intimidated by the long list. It's super easy to make.)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (As I mentioned, I used green onions since I had 'em!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 jalepeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 (15 oz.) can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used 2 cups to make up for lost liquid from ingredients I didn't use.)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I hate beans. I didn't use them.)
  • 2 cups frozen corn (I hate corn. I didn't use it.)
  • 8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cut into large chunks (I used regular cream cheese since I had it!)
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) part-skim sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used cheddar jack since I had it!)
  • 3-4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes or until tender and onion is translucent.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add in the chicken. Cook the chicken until no longer pink. 
  • Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and paprika and allow to cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, cannellini beans (if used), and corn (if used). Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add in the cream cheese and cheese and stir until completely melted, about 5 minutes. Serve chili hot, topped with a teaspoon of bacon crumbles.
Easy peasy! We actually let ours simmer for quite awhile before we added in the cream cheese and cheese, so you can make it ahead of time, or make it right when you want to eat it. It was so good! We had 5 people eat it, one going back for seconds, and that left us with about one big bowl left. This technically makes 8 servings (1 and 1/4 cups each), but I think we each had a little more than that. ;) I think I would definitely make a double batch next time now that I know I love it! Go out and make it and tell me what you think!

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