March 19, 2012

Chicken Chili with Corn and Swiss Chard

The word "chili" usually conjures up images of a bowl of red. It might be ground beef or ground beef and beans, like the Superbowl chili I wrote about last month. If you're in Texas, it means cubes of beef and no beans. Still, it's always red.

But it doesn't have to be. Take this chili, loaded with kernels of corn and leaves of Swiss chard. It definitely comes across as chili, with chili powder and ground cumin giving it an unmistakeable chili flavor.

But this is chili that's shed its bulky sweater for spring. It substitutes lean ground chicken (or turkey) in place of the ground beef. And it's loaded with beans and veggies.

To keep it light, eat it straight with a spoon. No toppings required except maybe a small hit of hot sauce. I promise it doesn't need much adornment.

Or you can top it with shredded cheese, minced onion or mashed avocado and scoop it up with tortilla chips. Either way, this chili is a winner.

Start with your spices. Combine salt, ground cumin, fennel seeds, dried oregano, and chili powder. Set aside.

Lightly brown onion and garlic in olive oil.

Add the ground chicken and spices.

Break up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Swiss chard. Swiss chard is a leafy green with a mild flavor and a texture somewhere between spinach and kale. To prepare the chard, wash the leaves, then lay them flat, one at a time. You’ll see a large, tough stem in the middle. You need to cut off the leaf on either side of the stem, then discard the stem. Once you've done that, cut the leaves into bite-size pieces (they won’t shrink much when you cook them).

Once the chicken has cooked through, stir the flour into your pot and cook for a minute or so. The flour will help the chili thicken up as it cooks.

Add the beans (I used a combination of pinto and cannellini, but use whatever you like), the Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Simmer for about an hour until the liquid reduces and thickens.

Finally, add the crushed red pepper flakes and taste for salt and pepper.


Chicken Chili with Corn and Swiss Chard

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
2 lb ground chicken
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp chili powder
3 Tbsp flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
11/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

1.    In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

2.    Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture.

3.    Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened.

4.    Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serves 6


1 comment:

  1. Made this last night .. it's the perfect meal on a cold winter night .. and a good amount leftover to eat while watching football tonight!


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