Monday, April 7, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

I made this awesome chili last week for a church supper. Yummy stuff!

While it's not exactly a "Fix It and Forget It" recipe, it's totally worth the little bit of effort during the final hour. And, it's great for those folks who don't like tomatoes (I know! Those people really do exist!)

This is a pretty frugal dish that feeds a crowd (16 servings!) on the cheap. Depending on whether you make the entire thing from scratch or take a more 'convenient' approach, it can cost as little as 55 cents a serving. See below.

Cost breakdown:
  • Homemade chicken stock - nigh unto free!
  • Storebought chicken stock - $5.38
  • 1 cans kidney beans - $4.38
  • 1/2 lb dry kidney beans - $.75
  • 1 (16 oz) jar tomatillo salsa - $3.59
  • 1 bunch scallions - $.69
  • 1 yellow onion - $.32
  • 1/2 bag tortilla chips (approx. 10 oz) - $1.50
  • 1/2 lb masa harina - $.33
  • spices - on hand
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast - $4.61
  • bone-in chicken breast w/ skin (I remove the skin and bones myself) - $3.88 (bonus - I save the skin and bones for chicken stock later)

Total cost --- $8.87 (using homemade chicken stock, dry beans, yellow onion, masa and bone in chicken breast) to $20.15 (using all storebought/canned/etc. items)

Total cost per serving --- $.55 to $1.25

This calculation does not take into account the cost for any optional toppings, such as sour cream, cheese, or additional tortilla chips. Those toppings up the yum factor, but also up the price. Your call! This chili is good either way.

Note, if you've never heard of masa harina, it's a corn flour used to make corn tortillas. You can usually find it in the ethnic foods section of the grocery store. I personally prefer the tortilla chip route because then I have a half bag of chips leftover to serve on the side. I'm pretty much IN LOVE with tortilla chips. Don't tell M.

16 servings a little much for you? 
Simply halve the recipe, then save the leftovers (tightly covered) in the fridge for up to a week. It reheats well and is great for lunches throughout the week. Or, you can portion it out and freeze in zip top freezer bags or jars. Just thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat when you're ready.

Chicken Chili
by Raye
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Keywords: slow-cooker chicken Southwest
Ingredients (16 servings)
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (16 oz) jar green tomatillo salsa (sometimes called salsa verde or green salsa)
  • 2 cans (or 2-3 c.) red beans or kidney beans
  • small bunch scallions (or 1 medium yellow onion, diced)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bag corn tortilla chips*
  • salt, to taste
  • Add chicken stock, chicken breast, beans, yellow onion (if using) and salsa to crockpot. Turn on low and leave it for about 7 hours.
  • After 7 or so hours, crush 1/2 bag of tortilla chips in a blender or food processor. Dip out 2 cups of hot chicken stock and pour it over the tortilla crumbs. Let the crumbs soak for 5 minutes, then process or blend to a smooth paste.
  • Remove chicken breast from crockpot to a cutting board. Whisk the tortilla chip paste into the broth mix in the crockpot so that can start thickening up while you continue with the next steps.
  • Shred the chicken breast on a cutting board. Add back into the crockpot, along with the garlic, cumin, poultry seasoning, oregano and chopped scallions (if using). Stir and cover. Allow to continue cooking (and thickening!) for another hour.
  • Serve warm with your choice of toppings. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days.
  • *Note, you can use 1 c. masa harina (corn tortilla mix) in place of the crushed tortilla chips, if desired. Just mix the 1 c. masa harina with the 2 c. hot chicken stock and proceed as mentioned above.
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