Spicy Mushroom-Chicken Chili

Fickle February. That’s about the only way to describe the weather of the year’s second month. And by the looks of things this week, that’s an apt description.

The month started with temperatures in the 30s, and if we are to believe the meteorologists and other weather forecasters, we should be in for a few days of cold weather. And then, temperatures will be back into the 30s by early next week.

It’s predicted that the temperature is to dip below zero tonight. And to me, this kind of weather signals it’s time for chili.

I recently came across an one-pot chili that stars chicken and mushrooms. With a chicken cooking in the oven and the rest of the ingredients on hand, I can foresee a bowl of chili in the immediate future.

Spicy Mushroom-Chicken Chili
2 teaspoons canola oil
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium, canned, diced tomatoes with their juice
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup drained and rinsed canned red kidney beans
1 cup frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ pound sliced white mushrooms (about 3 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
2 slices crusty, multigrain bread, toasted
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, jalapeno, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, garlic and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer, and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, adding a little water if it becomes too dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle chili with cilantro, and serve with toast on the side.
Note: The chili keeps well and can be frozen. Make extra and save for another quick meal.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 567 calories, 24 percent of calories from fat, 15 grams fat (2.8 grams saturated, 5.9 grams monounsaturated), 138 milligrams cholesterol, 53.1 grams protein, 61.4 grams carbohydrates, 15.1 grams fiber, 522 milligrams sodium.