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Chicken Chili with Beans

This chili freezes well to enjoy for later meals. To freeze, let the chili cool to room temperature. Store in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat over low heat, adding water, if needed, to loosen the chili. Garnish with the cilantro just before serving

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cans (each 14 1/2 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Cook the chicken
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring once or twice, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Prepare the vegetables
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pan. Add the tomatoes and their juices and 1 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the chicken is opaque throughout and the chili has thickened, about 15 minutes.

Finish the chili
Stir in the beans and cook until they are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the chili into individual bowls, garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Make Ahead, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).