Before this little experiment, I had never made a homemade chili before. Well, except with a seasoning packet of course. But my son had an upcoming Cub Scout banquet with a chili dinner. More like a chili cook off. A contest. And I, uhh, sort of entered. The things we do for our children, right?! I wanted his den to have a shot at winning
and I'm fiercely competitive, so, I went in search of the perfect chili recipe. My mom had given me Pam Anderson's Perfect Recipes for Having People Over for Christmas. (No, not THAT Pam Anderson! The other one.) I was actually looking for a recipe for, well, having some people over (go figure) when I serendipitously ran across this chili recipe. I immediately knew it was THE one and I quick fast facebooked the den leader to tell her. She agreed to it without hesitation. And that's the story of how 3 Scout moms entered a chili cook off with a recipe that none of us had ever tried before.
A tad more background info. This cookbook is geared toward feeding a crowd so we decided to scale the recipe back to half because our crockpots couldn't hold a full recipe (plus don't forgot there was 3 of us each bringing a batch). Fast forward to the day of the banquet. There were a couple of tricky conversions in scaling this one back. (Don't tell my sister. She's a mathematician in real life.) I was cooking and texting our wonderful den leader. And, in case you're wondering, she and I decided that half of 1 1/2 ounces equals 2-ish tablespoons. You're welcome.
Here's how my long winded story turns out. This is an excellent chili recipe. It seems like a ton of spices going in, but it honestly didn't turn out too spicy at all. Not even for children. Unfortunately, our recipe didn't win. But it was certainly one that I was proud to turn in. Go ahead. Give it a try.
Quick Red Chicken Chili
Recipe from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson (pg. 13)
2 store-bought roast chicken, meat picked from bones and pulled into bite-size pieces
2 quarts chicken broth A quart is 32 oz. I had to look that up :)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, cut into medium dice
2/3 cup chili powder
1 1/2 Tbls ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbls dried oregano
2 cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (16 oz each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (We used chocolate chips)
3 Tbls cornmeal
Heat oil in a large roasting pan set over two burners on medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, 4 to 5 mins. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, 25 to 30 minutes.
Stir in beans, garlic, and chocolate and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle cornmeal over chili, stir in, and simmer to thicken chili, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.