February 24, 2009

Fiery Jamaican-Influenced Chicken Chili

1 lb ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 chipotle chiles in adobe, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, diced
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
15 oz canned black beans, drained
15 oz diced fire roasted tomatoes
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chile*
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Pickapeppa Sauce**
1 teaspoon dried summer savory
1 teaspoon dried chervil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon hot Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon ground jalapeno
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon bourbon
1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon smokehouse ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

In a skillet, lightly brown the ground chicken. Drain off any excess fat-there might not be any as ground chicken is very low in fat, don't be alarmed. Place all ingredients (including the chicken!) in the slow cooker and gently stir to distribute the spices. Place on low for 6-8 hours. You could also turn it up to high for the last hour or so if you want to speed things up a bit. Stir before serving.

topping suggestions:
tortilla chips
sour cream
chopped onion
sharp cheddar

*AKA Ro-tel. Or make your own by combining 2 oz canned green chiles with 8 oz diced tomato.

**Available online or in the hot sauce section of your local market.

My thoughts:
I set out to make a simple smoky chicken chili but when I was lifting out the spices, I decided at the last minute to add some Jamaican inspired flavors in as well. It really worked! They gave new depth to a traditional spicy favorite without being overpowering. Ground chicken really absorbs flavors more than ground beef or even pork. Every bite is as flavorful as the last, no bland bits of chicken here!

I served this with Northern-style cornbread.