Happiness Project#49: In-A-Pinch Chicken Chili!

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Chili. My husband is the KING of all things chili! Both sides of our Family request his chili dish, whenever the weather starts to bring in some chill, without fail. But since I’m the one cooking dinner dishes, more often than not now, I decided that it was high time to create my own kind of chili bliss. Nothing like my husband’s traditional dish, either. There’s no way that I would ever want to mess with such a tantalizing culinary masterpiece! That’s how good his chili is! But here’s the thing, good chili recipes tend to have A LOT of ingredients. Like an entire grocery cart full of ingredients. Which is NOT good for my weekly grocery budget. Unless I’m willing to sacrifice my favorite granola cereal or favorite apple or worst yet, coffee. Needless to say, the thought of going coffee-less (even for a day) leaves me close to tears. So no, NO chili then.

Until now, my friends! Thanks to some Pinterest inspiration! With chicken, instead of meat! And the loveliness of whole, uncrushed bay leaves, which I rarely find a chance to use correctly! And best yet? I’m going to show you the “secret” short-cut to creating this super fantastic slow cooker dish, in-a-pinch! So that you don’t need to wait 5 or so hours to wrap your taste buds around this lovely Winter soup! Particularly if you’re a parent with little time to spare. Like me. So here you go…

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed

3 chicken bullion cubes

2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained

1/2 white onion, peeled and finely diced

2 whole bay leaves

2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1-1/2 cans gold & white corn, drained

3 cups chicken broth

1 (1-ounce) packet Ranch dressing mix

pinch or two of salt for taste

You’ll be multi-tasking for this one, so get ready!

In a medium sized pot, with about 2 cups of water, over medium-high heat, drop in two pinches of kosher salt, followed by the 3 thawed chicken breasts. Let cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through. Drop the heat to low and add in the two whole bay leaves. Let cook for another 5 or so minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the 3 cups chicken broth, bullion cubes, onion, oregano, cumin, chili powder and ranch dressing. Let slowly incorporate for 8-10 minutes.

Once the chicken is fully cooked, drain and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes before you shred each chicken breast into long pieces.

Now the pretty part! Plug in your slow cooker machine, set on high, and pour in both cans of the beans and corn. Then add in the shredded chicken (which will smell ridiculously fragrant, indeed). Followed by the entire skillet full of the mixed broth and spices. Let sit in the slow cooker for 30 minutes before stirring up all of that lovely chicken chili together!

And serve! With a dollop of sour cream, for an added bit of creaminess!

So. SO. GOOD. So good that I might make this dinner dish at least once a week! Winter or not 🙂

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