Creamy Chicken Chili

I have a confession to make: I’m kind of a Halloween Grinch. Yeah, it’s fun and everything, and I really do enjoy dressing up… But I never think about it until the last minute, so I never give myself enough time to come with a creative costume. And now that I’m an adult, I think I’m just jaded because as a twenty-something female, I’m expected to dress as some sort of sleazy, skin-revealing version of something.

Growing up, my family had the BEST Halloween costumes. I’m the oldest of seven cousins (eight now that I have a baby sister), and we’d always have a big group theme with homemade costumes.

Every year, my mom would make a giant pot of chili, we’d take it over to my grandma’s house, do our trick-or-treating, then come back and have chili before bartering our shares of Halloween candy.

This year, although I would have loved to be at home trick-or-treating with my two-year-old sister (she was a giraffe!), I was three hours away and decided to make my own chili (while wearing my pajamas and an apron… pretty much the opposite of a skanky Halloween costume).

I dug through some of my bookmarked recipes, and borrowed this one from Eat, Live, Run, making changes according to what I had on hand.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1/2 large (or 1 medium) onion, diced
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (I used one, but it could definitely use more chicken)
  • 2 cans (or about 3 or 4 cups cooked) beans (I used black beans and navy beans. Drain canned beans as best as you can, but it’s OK if there is still liquid in the can)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • salt, crushed red pepper, oregano (you can also use chili powder, cayenne pepper, or other seasonings, to taste)
  • hot sauce, to taste (or finely diced chili or jalepeno peppers)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • about 1 cup Greek yogurt (to desired creaminess)
  • mozzarella cheese and tortilla chips, for garnish

What to do:

  • Dice onions and mince garlic. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, clean chicken breasts and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • When oil is hot, add onion and chicken to pot. Stir and let cook for a minute or two, until onions are translucent.
  • Add garlic and cook another two or three minutes.
  • Now add beans, broth or stock, spices, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and slowly whisk in half and half and Greek yogurt, one spoonful at a time (hint: the trick to blending it in smoothly is to use a wire whisk, not a spoon!).
  • Serve immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of cheese, some crushed tortillas, and extra hot sauce (I love hot sauce), or keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.

Though it wasn’t the prettiest chili, it was definitely delicious. Mine was very liquid-y because I used too much half and half (I used closer to one cup originally) and only one chicken breast. After letting it sit over low heat for a while longer, however, it thickened up. And it was even better the next day as leftovers!

Also, note to food bloggers: when taking photos of your food with your iPhone, please (I’m begging you!), hold onto it. Very tight! Mine decided to go for a swim in the bowl during the photos. Lucky for me, the Greek yogurt broke its fall and saved it from complete submersion. My phone seems to be OK but needless to say, I might go easy on the food photos for a while.

(Source: goodhappyfit)