Chicken Chili

As a rule I prefer to buy chicken whole and break it down into pieces saving the bones for stock. But sometimes boneless, skinless breasts are a too good a price to pass up. The down side to prepackaged chicken breasts, besides the lack of stock bones, is that they come with an unsightly flap of rib meat attached. So, I trim off these strips of meat and save them in the freezer for when I need cubes of chicken. Here I use those tender strips of meat, known in ad-speak as “tenders,” to make a tasty one-dish meal reminiscent of pozole. A note on the peppers: you can make this recipe with bell peppers or with other peppers of you choice. I thought I was using a green and a red Anaheim but discovered that the red one was something else with a significant kick to it. If you are using only bell peppers add jalapeños or other hot chiles to your taste. Serve over Mexican red rice.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces chicken cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red and 1 small green bell pepper or two of each
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of beer, I use Saranac Pale Ale because it is what we usually have in the house
  • Water
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup dried hominy or 1 can hominy drained
  • 1 Tbsp. masa harina or fine cornmeal
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the chicken well on all sides. Remove to a plate.

Adjust the amount of oil in the pot and sauté the onions and peppers until softened and just starting to color. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Return the chicken to the pot, pour on the beer and 1 cup of water, the sprinkle in the spices. Stir in the hominy (if you are using canned hominy put it in at the end of cooking). Simmer until the chicken and hominy are tender, about 45 minutes.

Mix the masa with cold water for make smooth paste. Stir into the chili and bring to a boil to thicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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