Friday, January 16, 2015

Crock-Pot /Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Chili

  • Even though many recipes suggest cooking chicken on high using a slow cooker it can led to dry stringy chicken you might not want to eat. For tender flavorful chicken every time keep the heat on a low setting.  
  • Remove chicken skin before browning. 
  • Using chicken thighs in a slow cooker adds more flavor due to their fat and connective tissue. 
Mexican Chicken Chili
Cook's notes: Preferences differ from one cook to another in degree of hotness. I suggest starting out with 3/4 of the spice mixture (recipe below) and add in more of it depending on your taste buds. 
A suggested side that uses the rest of the canned drained green chiles is making a box of honey cornbread and adding chiles to it.
Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
  • sweet bell peppers red and yellow, diced (1 cup) 
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1- 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2- 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes-garlic, basil and oregano
  •  1- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1- 16 oz. can pinto beans or dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 2 cups chicken broth-low sodium fat free 
  • 2 oz. from a 4 oz. can of green chiles, drained 
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup frozen corn (not thawed)

Directions:
  1. In a small measuring cup mix cumin, chili powder, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  2. In a 5- or 6-quart Dutch or large soup pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and stir fry 4 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add in chopped onions, celery, garlic and peppers. Sprinkle ¾ of the mixed spice mixture over chicken mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in chicken broth, sugar, drained beans, diced tomatoes,  crushed tomatoes, and chiles. Mix well. 
  4. Bring chili slowly to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered 30 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with assorted toppings; such as  
  6. snipped fresh cilantro or parsley, sour cream, corn chips, lime wedges, shredded cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, finely chopped red onion, sliced green onions and/or bottled green salsa
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Follow steps 1, 2, 3 in directions above. Pour chili mixture into a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.


Winter Lives
by Douglas Florian

The "dead" of winter-
Or so they say.
But winter lives
In her way.
She leaves her tracks,
She shows us signs:
Not brillant blooms,
But webs of lines.
Not sprout or splash,
But silver gray.
Winter lives
In her own way.

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