About The Saturday Chef

Midwest, United States
I am NOT a professional chef. I am what I affectionately dub a Saturday Chef—a weekend warrior of the culinary variety, fortified by the education I have gleaned from two high school cooking classes, the Food Network and my own gastronomical experiments. While I’m not ashamed to spend all day making bagels by hand, and proudly call myself a foodie, I’m not a food snob. I enjoy an Extra Value Meal as much as the next girl. My culinary escapades are still relegated to the weekends, but my love for cooking is stronger than ever, galvanized by more successes than failures, and the beautiful fact that the more I cook, the more people there are to feed. So please stay tuned for fun recipes, inevitable disasters and hopefully, a lot of good food.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saturday Chef Original: Larry's Heart-y Chicken Chili

When I posted my Ultimate Grilled Cheese, I jokingly laughed at the traditional New Year's resolutions to lose weight.  I stand by my post, but I also know that food's first purpose is nourishment.  So "fat for fat's sake" is not the best practice, and I promise you it's not one of mine.  Thus, I try to shave needless calories from my cooking whenever I can. 

I also mentioned that I give my father food as gifts, because it's pretty much all he'll accept.  I want those edible presents to be delicious and healthy to make up for the Bears tickets and the million of other things I can't buy him.  As one of thirteen children, he thoroughly appreciates a good meal.

So for Superbowl Sunday, I provided the eats in the form of chicken chili.  Originally planned as a white chili, it quickly turned into a vibrant explosion or color and a cornucopia of vegetables!  It has a good kick of backheat, thanks to the chipotle and adobo, and it is cleverly thickened with beans, instead of a roux.  This chili is a nourishing present that is good for the heart and soul.

Oh, and apparently a good luck charm for the Saints.  Hee!



4 chicken thighs, skinned
1 leek, sliced
½ white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, ½’’ dice
1 yellow bell pepper, ½’’ dice
½ white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 15 oz can white beans
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can chick peas
1 clove garlic
½ to 1 chipotle in adobo (canned, whole pepper)
1 ½ cup of frozen corn
32 oz of vegetable broth
onion powder
garlic powder
house seasoning
Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season both lightly sides of chicken with salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder. Pour approximately 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large, hot skillet over medium-high heat. When skillet is hot, add chicken breast and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on both sides or until chicken is browned. Place the chicken onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum-foil and put into the oven for 20 minutes. When chicken is done, let it cool and rest for at least 15 minutes.

Drain oil and spices from dutch oven and reserve in measuring cup. Wipe away any burned bits.

While the chicken is roasting, dice onion, peppers, garlic, leeks, and carrots. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and add a healthy drizzle of the reserved oil. When oil is hot, add the onions and leeks and sweat until soft and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add bell peppers, carrots, and garlic. Cook until peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add vegetable broth and chiptotle with joining adobo sauce. NOTE: You can add as much as you want, but one pepper is plenty. When liquid starts to boil, turn down low. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

After chicken has rested, pull or slice chicken off of bones and shred with fingers.

Add cans of drained and thoroughly rinsed black beans, chick peas and 1/3rd of the can of white beans to pot. Take the rest of the white beans and mash with a spoon or masher. Scrape mashed beans into the chili and stir to thicken. Add chicken and continue to cook for a few minutes to let flavors marry. Add frozen corn if you wish. Taste and adjust heat to desired tolerance.

Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips.

Chefs Note: I am aware that I post a lot of recipes with chicken.  Clearly, I LOVE it.  But those who love beef need not be worried.  I am not a cluckatarian.  Beef and vegetarian recipes are on the way.  Promise. 

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