One of my favorite things about fall, and the cool weather, is that it’s finally time to make soup again! More specifically, it’s time to make chili. As soon as the weather starts to warm up in the Spring, and a hot bowl of chili sounds unappealing, I start thinking about how long it will be until I can make chili again… and once Summer starts to wind down, and the nights get a little more crisp and cool? I make sure to have all the supplies for chili on hand, so the second the urge strikes, I can get a pot of it simmering on the stove.
I’ve already shared my favorite, more traditional chili with you all… but I have been meaning to come up with a good chicken chili, and I finally had the chance last weekend. It’s a bit lighter overall, less spice-heavy (but still has a kick), and really, really tasty. This may end up becoming my new favorite variety of chili!
Creamy Jalapeño Chicken Chili*
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 medium carrots, diced small
1 medium sweet onion, diced small
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T all-purpose flour
3 c chicken stock
a pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cans diced tomatoes (fire-roasted or plain)
1 can ro-tel (or other diced tomatoes with chilies)
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 lb chicken breast, cooked and diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
*If you are not into spicy food (and this is not SUPER spicy, but it does have a little bit of heat), you can certainly omit the jalapeños and red pepper flakes, and it will still be incredibly delicious!
sour cream or greek yogurt
chopped pickled jalapeños
grated smoked cheddar cheese
1.) Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, and add olive oil and butter to the pan. Add diced carrots and onions, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2.) Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, and stir until all the vegetables are coated, and all the flour is moistened. Continue to stir and cook the flour-coated vegetables for another 2 minutes or so, to ensure that the raw flour flavor has been cooked out.
3.) Add chicken stock, and use a whisk or wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the broth to come up to a good simmer.
4.) Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the chili, and then pour diced tomatoes, ro-tel, and cannellini beans in; stir to combine, add another pinch each of salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to come up to a simmer again.
5.) Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes, until the broth thickens, and gains a kind of creamy consistency. Once this happens, add your chicken and heavy cream, and continue cooking until both are heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve with your favorite toppings – I used an applewood smoked cheddar (this should be fairly easy to find in the “specialty cheeses” case at your grocery store), greek yogurt, and some diced pickled jalapeños. I think the smoked cheese worked really well with the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and the pickled jalapeños added the bit of acid that I always look for in any dish. You could certainly use any kind of cheese you prefer, and if something like diced raw onion or minced raw jalapeño is your thing, throw that right on top, too!
This keeps wonderfully in the fridge, and reheats really well. I like to make a big pot of chili on the weekend, and use it for lunches all week!
I am beginning to think I have a chili problem,