Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili

The season of rain, cold and fog has arrived. It's time to take my annual designerly turn in the kitchen and make a big pot of my colorful confetti chicken chili.

Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili
(Yep, that's me - Cowboy Jeffie - in the photo)

This is a recipe I adapted (and re-adapted) from one published in Parade Magazine many years ago. It was kind of boring and colorless. The graphic designer in me changed many of the ingredients to make it a colorful and interesting dish. A few years ago I originally posted a version of this recipe on bLog-oMotives. This is my latest incarnation of Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili. It can be served as a meal, with fresh bread or corn muffins, heated in the winter or cold in the summer. It is somewhat time consuming to prepare, but the results are more than worth the effort. Guests who have been served this dish at our home are always requesting a repeat performance when dining with us again.

The "confetti" of my chili: Diced red peppers, orange peppers, yellow peppers, green zucchini and yellow squash.

3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions - chopped
2 tablespoons garlic - coarsely chopped
3 - 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts - cubed
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
1 cup chicken stock or chicken bouillon
1 can (28 oz.) stewed tomatoes (whole or chopped) - drained
(save liquid)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (5 3/4 oz.) black olives - sliced
1 medium-sized green zucchini - thinly sliced and quartered
1 medium-sized yellow zucchini - thinly sliced and quartered
3 bell peppers (select three different colors - I have found green, white,
red, yellow, orange and purple), cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
1 can (27 oz.) red kidney beans - drained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans - drained
Fresh lemon or lime juice (from one lemon of lime)
Nonfat yogurt or sour cream (optional garnish)
Grated cheddar cheese (optional garnish)
Fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Chili nearing completion on the stove.

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Saute onion and garlic in hot oil for about 5 minutes.

2. Add cubed chicken breasts and cook for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth or bouillon and continue cooking.

3. Add all your spices - chili powder, cumin, curry powder, oregano, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, Tabasco red pepper flakes and black pepper - and stir well into the chicken/onion mixture. Allow to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes - stirring occasionally. This makes for fairly hot chili. For a milder chili cut back on the curry powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce to your own taste. Don’t cut back on the chili powder - it adds flavor, not hotness.

4. Add stewed tomatoes to the mixture, allowing tomatoes to cook down for about 10 minutes (this is a good time to get all the peppers and zucchini prepared). Use the reserve liquid later to thin down the chili before serving if necessary.

5. Add the olives, zucchini, peppers and tomato sauce to the pan and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.

6. 15 - 20 minutes prior to serving add the kidney beans and allow to heat thoroughly.

7. Just prior to serving add the fresh lemon/lime juice and stir through the sauce. This adds a freshness to the chili and takes the “edge” off the hotness. Add the reserve tomato liquid to thin down the chili if necessary.

8. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, fresh cilantro and/or grated cheddar cheese prior to serving.

The chili is even better reheated the next day - or served cold on a hot summer day.


Check out other Cowboy Jeffie recipes.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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