Slow Green Chili

Not everyone agrees about what should go in chili.

Some insist chili must have beans. Still others, including those from Texas, say chili with beans isn’t chili at all.

Another argument is that chili has to have beef. A co-worker of mine disses any chili that is without meat or uses chicken or turkey instead of beef. He would be in disagreement with people from New Mexico, who believe the only real requirement for chili is peppers — green or red.

As far as I’m concerned, chili can contain just about any ingredient the cook wants to use. I’ve made chili with beef, elk, bison and venision. I’ve made it without meat. I’ve made a white version using chicken and/or turkey. And I’ve made it with and without beans.

Yesterday, I offered a couple of recipes, one the traditional red kind (with beef), with beans, that most people are familiar with, the other without meat and three kinds of beans.

Today, I’m sharing a recipe that contains chicken and no beans.

Green Chili with Chicken
8 New Mexico or poblano chilies
2 jalapeno chilies (optional)
¼ cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup whipping cream or half-and-half
2 tablespoons cornmeal
Chopped chilies, crumbled Mexican cheese, chopped onion, minced cilantro, salsa
Heat the broiler or a heavy skillet over medium heat; roast the chilies, turning, until blackened on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plastic or paper bag; set aside to cool. Peel away blackened skins. (It’s OK if some charred bits remain.) Seed chilies; chop. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onions, garlic and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into ½-inch square pieces; transfer to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring once or twice, until chicken is opaque, about 8 minutes.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano and reserved chilies. Increase heat to high; heat to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 50 minutes. Stir in cream and cornmeal; cook 10 minutes. Pass the garnishes at the table.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 299 calories, 43 percent of calories from fat, 14 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 66 milligrams cholesterol, 13 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams protein, 780 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.