Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cold Weather Food

Winter has hit Houston with a vengeance. At school today, there was no power thanks to a rolling blackout that caused an issue of some sort that prevented the power from coming back on. It's currently 33 degrees in our backyard and it will probably make it down into the 20s again tonight. Then we've got a winter mix of sleet, snow, and ice almost certainly starting up tomorrow sometime.

I hit the grocery store to grab a couple of extra bundles of firewood and food so that I won't have to stop tomorrow night. Tonight I ended up making something new: a chicken chili that turned out really good. Here's the recipe, such as it is. As is my habit when I'm improvising in the kitchen, I didn't measure anything. So the measurements below are approximations based on my best guess of how much I used.

Chicken Chili

Two pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into one inch chunks
Extra virgin olive oil
Cumin (I probably tossed in a total of 2 or so TBSP. I know I used enough to lightly coat the chicken chunks)
Cilantro (I used about a tsp of dried cilantro)
Approx 1/4 tsp paprika
1 large yellow onion chopped
2 poblano peppers seeded and diced
2 tomatillos diced
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
14 oz can fire roasted TexMex tomatoes and green chilis (I used the Walmart Great Value brand)

For serving:

Mexican rice (I used an Old El Paso microwave package)
Grated cheddar cheese
sliced green onion
sour cream

In a stock pot or dutch oven, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the chicken and season with salt, pepper, about half the cumin, cilantro, and paprika. Cook until barely pink on the inside.

Remove the chicken to a bowl and set aside. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and add in the onions, peppers, and tomatillos. Add the rest of the cumin and cilantro and cook until nicely soft. Add the chicken back to the pot, making sure to pour the juices from the chicken back into the pot. Add the chicken broth and the can of tomatoes and green chilis. Simmer for about half an hour.

To serve, put a few spoonfuls of rice in the bottom of a bowl, ladle in the chile and top with grated cheddar, green onions, and a dollop of sour cream. My husband also mentioned that some diced avocado would also be good on top and we're going to try that next time around. I will also probably make a vegan version of this for my daughter Sara by substituting seitan and vegetable broth for the chicken and chicken broth.

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