June 14, 2007

Chicken Chili with Hominy



Ingredients:
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
28 oz can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped*, liquid reserved
20 oz can hominy
15 oz kidney beans
10 oz Ro-tel (I used the Mexican Fiesta variety, but any will work)
4 oz can chopped green chile
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons ground chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon oil

Directions:
Heat oil in a large, heavy, tall saucepan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon each paprika and cayenne on the chicken thighs. Add the onion, garlic and chicken and saute until the chicken is almost completely cooked through, it should look white on each side. Add the rest of the spices, the canned tomatoes, chiles, kidney beans, tomato paste, hominy (you might need to break this up a little with the back of a spoon) and Ro-tel. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, then remove the cover and cook an additional 10. Serve immediately. Leftovers refrigerate and freeze well.

Yield: roughly 6-8 servings

*I just open the can and run a knife through it to cut them up.

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My thoughts:
I know chili isn't exactly what springs to mind when you are thinking of what to make for dinner during the warm weather months but this chili is surprisingly quick to make and only uses one pot. I have been wanting to make something using hominy for a while now. When I was a child we'd occasionally have it (somewhat oddly) for breakfast with breakfast sausage but it in the years since I've noticed how well it pairs with tomato. When boneless, skinless chicken thighs (so moist and juicy and only nominally higher in fat than chicken breasts) went on sale this week I thought a chicken chili might be in order. Matt said it was one of the best chilis either of us has ever made which is high compliment from someone who prides himself on his chili prowess. It uses a fair amount of canned goods, which is good (you probably have most if not all of the ingredients on hand) but it doesn't have the icky "canned" taste. It is very fresh tasting. The trick is the tiny bit of tomato paste for a depth of flavor.