Chicken Chili

serves 12

This recipe is from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Parties!. It has no beans, just chicken, peppers, onion and assorted spices. The flavor is sooo good, and a great pairing is the Cornbread Jalapeño Muffins recipe.

This is not a dish to make for dinner after a full working day; it doesn’t fit my needs to be done in an hour rule. It is a perfect dish to make up for when you are having a group of friends over for any reason and want something that you can prepare ahead of time and reheat. This chili, along with the recipe I follow for Jambalaya are my backyard bonfire dinner go-to’s.

  • 8 cups chopped yellow onion (6 onions)
  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
  • 4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 tsp chili powder, or to taste (I add a tad more chili powder)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste (I add a lot more cumin, keep adding teaspoons, stir, then taste until it’s like you like it)
  • ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes, or to taste (I don’t alter this)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (I may add a tad more)
  • 4 tsp Kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 4 28-ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, drained
  • ½ cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin-on
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • For serving
    • Chopped onion
    • Corn chips
    • Grated Cheddar
    • Sour Cream
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Note: while chicken is cooking in the oven you should prep the rest of the dish. Chicken needs 45 minutes to cook, the sauce with peppers and onions needs about 30 minutes.
  • Chicken
    • Rub the chicken breast with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet
    • Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
    • Roast chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked (I typically cook for 45 minutes)
    • Let cool slightly
    • Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut into ¾-inch chunks
    • Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.
    • Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving
  • Chili
    • You’ll need a tall pot for putting everything together once the chicken is done for simmering, but you should start with a large pan, or dutch oven, for sautéing the onions, peppers and garlic
    • 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. I keep tasting it as it’s simmering and may do more spice adjustments as the flavors blend.
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