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Got-it-Right Chicken Chili

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

It’s not often that I  get a newly created recipe “right” the first time I make it.  As I described in a previous post, new recipes are usually created…tweaked..and tried by my family several times before the product of my efforts is deemed “worthy of sharing”.  Not so this time, as my combination of pantry staples and ingredients on hand, paired with just the right amount of cumin and ancho chili powder produced a hearty chicken chili on my first attempt.  However, I discovered that the most important step in achieving the richness of flavor was the willingness to wait for the blend of ingredients to “mature” before eating the soup.  You see, when I tasted the chili after its allotted “simmer time”, it was good…but I felt it needed just a “little something extra”.  Luckily, a little voice inside my head encouraged me to let the soup cool, refrigerate it overnight, and taste it again after reheating to determine if adjustments were needed.  What a difference a day made!  After a 24-hour “nap”, the blended flavors transitioned from “good” to “just right”.  When I asked for my husband’s opinion, he smiled and said, “You got it right and I wouldn’t change a thing!”
From my kitchen to yours….enjoy!


Got-it-Right Chicken Chili

makes 6 servings
(prepare a day in advance of serving to greatly enhance flavor)
6 ounces Italian style chicken sausage (approximately 2 links), casings removed
1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 medium onion (approximately 6 ounces) peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
small, fresh jalapeno (approximately ⅝ ounces) washed and dried with membranes and seeds removed and then coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cups shoe-peg corn, thawed and drained
15.5 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
15.5 ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
5 cups no salt added chicken cooking stock, divided use
¾ pound herb-roasted chicken breast, coarsely chopped to make approximately 2 cups
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
1 cup cilantro leaves (from approximately 46 stems of cilantro) washed, drained and coarsely chopped
Manchego cheese for garnish
Break the sausage into pieces and brown in 1 ½ teaspoons of olive oil in a large stock pot. Remove browned sausage and wrap in paper towels to drain.  Leave remaining drippings in pan.
Add additional 1 tablespoon olive oil to drippings in pan.  Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and jalapeno until the onion is translucent, but not browned.  Add the corn, cannellini beans and Great Northern beans and stir to blend with the onion mixture.  Coarsely chop the browned sausage and add to the sautéed vegetables.  Stir in 2 cups of chicken cooking stock.  Sauté until cooking liquid is reduced by half.
Stir in the coarsely chopped chicken breast.  Gradually add the remaining chicken cooking stock until desired consistency is achieved. Add the Worcestershire sauce, cumin and chili powder, stirring to blend with other ingredients.  Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the chili mixture and then stir gently to incorporate the cilantro throughout the chili.
Cover the stock pot and allow the chili to simmer approximately 20 minutes.  Remove the stock pot from heat and allow the chili to cool to room temperature in the covered pot.  Transfer the chili to a covered storage container and refrigerate the chili over night before reheating to serve.
Serve warm, topped with 1 – 2 tablespoons of grated Manchego cheese per bowl as a garnish.
Note:  Please observe that salt is not listed as an ingredient to be added to this recipe.  The sodium contained in the sausage and the canned beans is sufficient.  Do not add additional salt.

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