It's been a cold, wintery weekend and as I look out my window, branches and pine boughs are heavy with snow. March is only a day away, yet it seems that this winter is forever. I had planned an intentionally low-key weekend. I vowed to clean my bedroom closet (so exciting), and never ventured out of the house yesterday except to slide down the hill with Henry, and as much as I protest the evils of winter, I must admit we had an awful lot of fun. Henry was all bundled up in his snowsuit and boots, very "Christmas Story," and I scrambled to find my mittens and ended up with one of my best pairs of Gold Toe socks to protect my hands instead! Katie and I made a Henry-sized snowman from the packable snow, with a carrot for the nose and charcoal scraps from the wood stove for eyes and mouth. Our little snow man even had a bellybutton since Henry is especially fond of his own.
Once inside, we warmed up with cups of hot cocoa (made with my favorite, malted Ovaltine!) and later I made a quick version of goulash. After dinner, we watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Before bed, I made oatmeal for this morning's Pan Fried Oatmeal (yesterday's post). I read a little bit before I went to sleep, and it was a lovely day.
This morning I sat down with Ina Garten's Cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties! not looking especially for a party recipe but for something warm and nurturing from the chapter entitled "Snow Day." That's where I found this recipe for chicken chili, and it's not the typical white chicken chili you might expect. It's a traditional red chili that replaces beef with chunks of oven-roasted chicken breast. All Ina's recipes are worth a try, and if you want something with a little bit of spice to warm you up, this is a good choice.
Chicken Chili from the Barefoot Contessa
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/8 cup minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream
Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.
Recipe credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-chili-recipe/index.html