January 30, 2013

Green Chile Pineapple Chicken Chili

2 lb ground chicken
2 cups diced fire-roasted Hatch Green Chiles
30 oz canned black beans, drained
15 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained
20 oz canned pineapple chunks in 100% juice, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the ground chicken in a nonstick skillet, breaking up any large chunks, until fully cooked. Add all ingredients into a 4 quart slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Stir prior to serving.

My thoughts:
I don't know if pineapple chili is a thing, I've never heard of it but for all I know there are pineapple chili cook-offs up a down the Eastern Seaboard but I made one and want to share. I'm actually surprised I didn't make a chili with pineapple back when I was developing all of those chili recipes for my cookbook.

Anyway! I was thinking about how tasty Hatch chiles would be with something sweet and just went for it. I actually made this back during the tail end of Hurricane Sandy when all was dreary and there was a mandatory driving ban in the city. Pineapple and chiles seemed like good way to cheer up the day and I had all of the ingredients on hand.

I had the chiles already prepped, chopped and frozen so there was little prep involved, which I love for an early morning dinner making session. I wasn't sure what else to add to the chili but I had some ground chicken I had frozen after purchasing it for a meal I ended up not making and a ton of black beans in the basement from a Costco run so in they went. I'm glad I had the chicken because ground chicken really absorbs the flavor of whatever it is cooked with so the fruity-hotness of the chiles and pineapple were present in every bite. The pineapple doesn't make it sweet, it just adds a bit of tangy and depth to the chili while the chiles bring a pleasant heat. A fun twist on the typical chili.