I adore this, is what you should know first. Everyone else adores this, is a very close second.
A million years ago when I started to like cooking but didn’t have a huge skillset yet, I watched A LOT of Food Network, which morphed into me watching Rachael Ray nearly daily, which was probably a strange thing to do at age 23 or something. I learned a ton, though, and often mimicked recipes I saw on her and other’s shows. This chicken chili was inspired by a talk show, is what you should know.
In the last ten years or so (why. how.), I’ve made versions of this chili over and over again, to great results and very few leftovers each time. The concept is simple: some kind of peppers that you roast yourself, chicken/garlic/onion, white beans, canned green chiles, stock, done. Sometimes I add lots of different types of peppers, sometimes an extra jalapeno or two. Sometimes I use leftover shredded chicken, sometimes I use ground, sometimes I poach and shred my own and use the poaching liquid instead of stock.
The end result is hugely flavorful each time, and the balance of flavors + nutrition is so satisfying here. Toppings are a must, as with any Mexican-inspired dish, and this should probably definitely be included in your weekend – this weekend if it’s cold, or in two weeks for Cinco de Mayo! OR OR OR you make a double batch now and freeze half for Cinco. Meal prep.
Here’s your new favorite quick dinner method!
If you aren’t already making something like this all the time, obviously. I see recipes for chicken thighs all the time, and for good reason: they’re somewhat more affordable than chicken breasts, they have tons of flavor, and the possibilities for cooking them are just endless. I have on occasion found boneless, skin-ON chicken thighs, and that to me is the mother lode of all chicken cuts, hands down. This is mainly because we still eat dinner every single night on the couch (because Beck goes down before we eat, we’re only rotting OUR brains, don’t worry) and chicken bones are tough to navigate with one hand.
This method for cooking chicken thighs is so foolproof I can’t even waste too much time talking about it. The key is to be patient with searing the chicken skin so most of the fat renders out and the skin gets super crispy. Then we cook leeks and whole garlic cloves in the chicken drippings, add the chicken BACK in with some chicken stock and lemon, roast the whole thing, and done. Couldn’t be easier, and the leek/garlic/lemon combo is just unreal.
For Taco Tuesday hard-shell tacos, DUH.
We have less than a month until Cinco de Mayo! This is excellent news because MEXICAN FOOD OBVS. Mexican and Indian are my true all the time, tried and true, even love the leftovers, favorite cuisines of all time. We eat a variation of each at least once per week, and I love that Mexican food specifically lends itself to so many different types of foods, uses for extra veggies, all of the good stuff. Plus: flavor. condiments. cilantro.
To start off this celebration of Mexican fare, I went super basic and probably not very authentic at all. I am a huge sucker for plain ground beef, though, and this version is super simple and foolproof – no seasoning packet necessary. I use the same spice blend with crumbled tofu, ground chicken, even fish flaked for tacos, and the results are delicious and adored each time. How you use the beef is up to you – hard shell tacos are so fun and easy, but this is great on salads, in burritos, or as a part of any other Mexican meal you enjoy. I love making a batch of this at the beginning of the week and using it several ways for a few meals.