Happy Chili Day!

chili with onions
Chili!

Thursday February 26, 2015 is National Chili Day.  Hoorayyy!

Chili is one of my favorite things.  Heck, Ive even been known to enjoy the canned variety a time or two.

When it comes to the story of chili, tales and myths abound.

While many food historians agree that chili con carne is an American dish with Mexican roots, Mexicans are said to indignantly deny any association with the dish.

Enthusiasts of chili say one possible though far-fetched starting point comes from Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600s who never left her convent yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes.

The Farmers Almanac has a recipe for Chicken Chili that sounds delicious.  Might have to give it a try soon.

Whatever recipe you use, I hope you enjoya nice bowl of chili on this cold winter’s day!

CHICKEN CHILI

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt
2 pounds ground chicken
2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
Water, as needed
Garnishes:
Sour cream; shredded Monterey Jack cheese; diced cucumber

Directions:
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, pepper flakes, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt and cook (stirring often) until the vegetables are softened (about 10 minutes). Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in half of the chicken, about 1/2 pound at a time, and cook while breaking up any chunks with a wooden spoon until no longer pink (about 6 minutes). Add beans, tomatoes and tomato puree and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Press the remaining ground chicken into a ball, then pinch off teaspoon sized pieces and stir them into the chili. Uncover and continue to simmer; stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and the chili is dark and thickened slightly (about 40 minutes). If the chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer. Season with salt to taste. Serve with sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and cucumber.