Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mexican inspired chicken chili

Hello, everyone!  It's Tuesday, and for the last couple of days here, we have had SUNSHINE!  It's been raining so much here lately, that I've almost forgotten what it looks like!  However, while the sun has been out, it has been pretty chilly here, which I'm kind of surprised about.  It's almost May, it is supposed to be warmer than 60 degrees outside...although, it'll go from being 60 degrees to 110 degrees in a matter of a couple of weeks, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.
Anyhoo, my husband was out traveling for work the last couple of weeks, and while he's out of town, I just don't cook that much.  I don't like cooking huge meals for just myself (my daughter doesn't care for grown up food yet....she's still happy with a sandwich and some carrots).  So, what I usually end up doing is making a pot of soup to eat off of while he's gone.  
I figured, it's chilly out, so I should make up some chili!
I make chili fairly often, so I wanted to shake things up a little bit, and make a Mexican inspired chili.  This has all of the flavors that you find in yummy Mexican food - black beans, corn, chili powder, and even tamal flour!
The tamal flour is what helps to thicken this chili up, and it adds a huge amount of flavor!  Top it with your favorite chili toppings, and you have an amazing supper in about 40 minutes (not counting the cook time of the chicken).  Seriously.  

Here's your grocery list for this one:
2 bone-in chicken breasts
Seasonings for chicken breasts:
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs Kosher salt
2 tsp cumin powder

For the soup:
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs dried parsley flakes
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs dried orageno
1/2 Tbs cumin powder
1 (15 oz)can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed 
1 (28 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 C tamal flour
1 can of corn

To start with, I usually like to cook my chicken off first thing in the morning, so that it has cooled by the time I'm ready to shred it up for supper.  So, I preheat my oven to 425*, drizzle the olive oil over the chicken, and sprinkle my seasonings evenly between the two.  I like to roast the chicken for about 40 minutes, and believe me, it smells amazing!  The cumin really smells so good while its roasting.

Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle (or, in my case, cooled all of the way down!), shred it up; set it aside for now.  I like to leave it in the pan, with all of the roasting juices, so it stays moist, and gets coated with the seasonings.  
Finely mince up the garlic, and preheat a soup pot over medium heat.  Once your pot has heated for a few minutes over the medium heat, add in the olive oil.  Olive oil has a pretty low smoke point, so quickly add in the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

While you're waiting on all of that, go ahead and drain and rinse your beans.  I like to have my stuff waiting on me, rather than my trying to rush around and get things ready.

Now that your beans are waiting on you, add your tomato paste in with the garlic.  Saute the tomato paste with the garlic for about 5 minutes, this will allow the tomato paste to really develop its flavor, and cook out the canned taste. 

Once this has sauteed together, add in the herbs and spices.  I like to add them in as soon as possible when I'm making a soup, when I'm stewing something, because it allows the flavors to be brought out.  Let this all cook together, over medium heat, for another 5 minutes.

Once this has all cooked together, add in your beans and tomato sauce, and mix it together.  

Right after, add in the chicken stock, and the shredded chicken.  Start off with adding 3 cups of chicken stock, that way, if your soup gets too thick later, you can add in the 4th cup.  Mix it all together, and let it cook over medium heat, for about 30 minutes.  Since the chicken is already cooked, you're really just heating everything through.

In case you haven't seen it before, this is what the tamal flour looks like (tamal meal?); I picked some up during my last grocery run.  I was planning ahead for Cinco de Mayo, and thought this would be a great addition to the soup.  This helps to thicken the soup, and adds a lot of depth of flavor.  Stir it in, and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Since the tamal flour thickens the soup up, add in the can of corn with the juice.  The corn liquid helps to thin it back out, and adds extra corny flavor.  Let this cook for another 5 minutes, then dish it up!  I like to top mine with some sour cream (or Greek yogurt!), and some shredded cheese.  I'm not going to lie, I finished this entire batch of soup over the course of a week.  It is my new favorite!