Friday, December 21, 2012

Chicken, Vegetable, and bean "Chili"

I say "Chili" because it's not really that chili-ish except for a couple of ingredients.  It's more of a soup that has some chili powder in it.  I kind of mixed two "chili" recipes together to get this, and as it was cooking I thought, no one is going to like this.  It looked weird, but I think that's because I was thinking of it as a chili, and whoever heard of a chili with carrots and celery in them? Or even chicken?  Not me--that's not how I do chili; beef, sausage, beans and lots of chili powder and spice is how I do chili.  Despite the misgivings, this soup turned out to be a real winner.  I was very pleasantly surprised by it's awesomeness, so much so that I made it for a family in need two days later and made sure to make enough for us to eat too.  The kids absolutely loved it.  Naomi took it to school for lunch one day and when I asked her if it was okay for lunch or if it was too cold (they don't get microwaves in their classrooms--a huge oversight in my mind; how is it fair to expect kids to eat the same 3 cold lunches every week?! YUCK. And Naomi doesn't even like peanut butter....) she said, "The soup was SO yummy I forgot I had some carrots to eat too!"
There you have it--this soup is good.  SO here is how you make it--

2 carrots
2 ribs celery
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (you need that tomato juice, don't throw it away!)
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
2 chicken breasts
2 tsp. Chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano (or if you have it, Tuscan Sunset or some other italian seasoning)
salt & pepper to taste
1 can garbanzo or great northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup or so of water (optional)

1.  Chop up all the veggies into fairly small pieces so they'll get soft in the crockpot (yep that's right--this recipe just gets better and better huh!).
2.  Chop the raw chicken into bite-size pieces.
3.  Spray crockpot bowl, then add chicken & spices and stir to coat chicken well.
4.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  If mixture doesn't look saucy enough, add some water so it doesn't dry out while cooking.  It shouldn't be super watery in texture, but not real thick either or everything will get dried out.
5.  Cook on high 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours, until veggies are soft and chicken is definitely cooked through.
6.  Serve with cheddar cheese, and if you desire--sour cream and chips (see, now it sounds a little more chili-ish, but it works!)