We made this today for the Bears game. Chicago Bears footbal often means the start of fall cooking, and that means stews and other long-cooking dishes. And it means chili. 

We had some requests for the recipe, so here's how we did it.

This version was smoked chicken chili. So yesterday we smoked some chicken thighs, sprinkled with dry rub, for about two hours on the smoker. But this would work just as well with roasted chicken too: just rub the thighs with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides and roast for an hour at 350. 

10 chicken thighs, cooked, skin removed after, deboned, meat chunked up

2 medium yellow onions, finely diced

1 large (or two medium) red peppers, finely diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced

5-6 cloves garlic, finely diced

3-4 tsp cumin

1-2 tsp cayenne

5 ears of corn, cooked (we wrap in foil and grill high for 30 minutes)

(slice the kernels off the corn cobs; press out the liquid and save)

2 15oz cans diced tomatoes (with the juice)

5-6 C chicken stock (low sodium)

2 bunches scallions, bottoms removed, just the white and light green parts, sliced

2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo, plus 3T adobo sauce

A big handful of parsley (since we hate cilantro, but if you like it, use that instead)

Saute the onion, pepper and jalapeno in 2T oil until well wilted, maybe 10 minutes. Season pretty heavily here with salt and pepper. Except for the cumin, we won't be reasoning until the end. When most of the liquid is gone, sprinkle on the cumin and mix for about 60 seconds, then add the garlic and mix for another 60 seconds. Add the chipotles and adobo sauce and simmer until the liquid evaporates. Add both cans of tomatoes and mix, then simmer until most of the liquid is again evaporated.

Add one cup of stock and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Then add the rest of the stock. Simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the cooked corn that had been cut from the cob. 

While all that is happening, you can cook the chicken thighs. They should be bone-in, skin on. Once cooked, let them cool, remove the skins, debone them and chunk up the meat. Add the chicken to the chili base. Add the scallions at this point. Chop up a big handful of parsley and add that. Stir. Taste. Re-season w/ salt and pepper.

We added homemade corn tortilla chips: take a bunch of corn tortillas, stack them up, then cut them in half (across) then cut each half into three pieces. (Six chips per tortilla.) Add oil to a skillet and heat. Fry the chips in batches, until they are crisp, seasoning each batch when it comes out, while it drains on paper towels. Use more seasoning that you think you should for the first batch, and adjust accordingly in subsequent batches. If you do this, you might never buy tortilla chips at the store again. Trust me on that. 


John P. Needham

September 8, 2013

3:30 p.m. CST