My work travel schedule usually picks up toward the end of the year, which means that I try to start make meals that can be frozen and re-heated later. I also love one-stop meal that has both the vegetable and protein in one big bowl so we can just throw in a salad or some sort of bread on the side, and we’ll be all set for dinner. We had a pretty good luck with this chili that we tried last year, adapting several recipes and made it our own. But I thought that I should also try to make a different variation, using chopped chickens.
This recipe has everything that I love in a bowl, big chunks of peppers, onions, roasted chickens, soaked in savory tomato broth! I especially loved this because it easily feeds 8-10 healthy appetite, although the recipe on the Food Network only says 6! I didn’t realize how much it would make until we literally had to use TWO different pots to complete cooking this chili. This is a perfect dish for a casual entertaining in the colder months.
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/8 cup minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.
Yield: 12 servings