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Friday, February 6, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Chili


Alright, I know what you all are thinking. You JUST posted a chili recipe and now you're back with another one?!?

Well...it's COLD outside, people! The snow has been attacking us over and over again throughout the past few weeks and the plows have collected a mountain of that white, icy, horribleness right next to the mailbox that is about 12 feet tall. I wish I were joking. I've backed my Tahoe into it about four or five times this week, so I can attest to its vast height. My backing up skills really aren't that bad... it's more because Paul only carved out a narrow "hallway" in our driveway instead of shoveling the entire piece of concrete - and just to make things more fun, he forged a curvy passageway! Hence the reason, backing out normally takes me a couple tries. I really dislike winter, snow, and ice.

Bottom line...it's cold. So cold that all I want to eat is soup. And oatmeal. So that's pretty much what we've been eating around here - oatmeal in the mornings and soup in the evenings! It's the perfect winter food. I've also been craving meals with a little extra spice, heat, or some kind of kick to it. We made this Buffalo Chicken Chili for the Super Bowl last Sunday and it made enough to last us a couple meals. It does a great job of capturing the traditional chicken wing flavor without completely singeing your nose hairs. If we added a swirl of sour cream to a bowl full, the kids could definitely eat it.

Paul was obsessed with this chili. He never got sick of the leftovers and looked forward to coming home more for a piping hot bowl of chili than he did to spend time with his loving wife and children. That's probably not true, but the point is that he really, really liked this meal! I'll definitely be making it again. Additional bonus is that it is another super-duper easy slow-cooker recipe. Saute a couple vegetables and then dump everything into the slow-cooker and let it do the rest of the cooking. It's almost like having a personal chef.


As I was sitting here typing out this whiny post about how much I hate the cold, my doorbell rang. I went to answer it and the mailman handed me huge package. I wasn't expecting anything, so I took it inside and immediately opened it to find the vibrant colors of orange and yellow and the sweet smell of citrus jumping out at me. It was a box full of tangelos, oranges, clementines, and lemons - with a note attached written in the familiar handwriting belonging to my Grandmother that read: "Sunshine from California!" These fruits were hand-picked from her orchard in Southern California. I had been feeling so blue about the cold winter weather that this was certainly a sweet little miracle that brightened up my day! As I finish up this post, I am happily snacking on a perfectly sweet, ripe tangelo while dreaming of warmer weather. Thank you, Grandma!


So, make this chili but then follow it up with a piece of citrus for dessert. It'll be a winter meal with a little bit of summer thrown in!

Buffalo Chicken Chili
adapted from Closet Cooking

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce (or more to taste)
 
Trim the chicken thighs of any excess skin and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
 
In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the celery and carrrots and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for and additional 30-45 seconds, or until fragrant.
 
Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Pour the vegetable mixture over the chicken in the bowl of the slow cooker. Add the rest of the chicken broth, the tomatoes, the beans, the paprika, oregano, cayenne, and wing sauce. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and falling apart.

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