Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili

Week 8 of this series brings me back to chicken. Although beef is the traditional meat used in making chili, there are several excellent varieties of chicken chili that can be made. In this dish, the chicken is slow simmered in the chili liquid, then removed and shredded while the sweet potatoes finish cooking in the chili.

The key to this dish is to not overcook the sweet potatoes. The goal is for the sweet potatoes to be soft but still hold their shape. If overcooked, they will fall apart and you will wind up with a mushy chili with streaks of orange through it. So once the potatoes are cooked, turn off the heat and serve right away.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili

1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 canned chipotle, seeded and minced
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
3 cups chicken broth
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

In large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, carrots, and bell pepper and saute for 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chipotle and cook another minute.

Add whole chicken breasts, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and let cool slightly.

Add beans and simmer another 5 minutes, uncovered.

Shred chicken and add back into chili. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

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