Monday, September 14, 2009

Quick Meal to Serve a Crowd: Chicken Chili Verde

Sometimes you feel inspiration by one ingredient. That happened to me this weekend. I get a weekly, local organic produce box delivery and this week I received tomatillos, cilantro, peppers. That inspired me to make a green chili and away I went!

I made this for my family and everyone liked it, including my father-in-law, who is a traditional Midwest eater. No leftovers for this chili! From start to finish, this took me about 40 minutes to make.

Chicken Chili Verde (Serves 6)
The honey in this chili helps balance the spices and tartness of the tomatillos.

  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 1 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 sweet Italian pepper (light green)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Sour cream (for garnish)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 avocado, diced for garnish


  • Wash vegetables and take off the husks of the tomatillos. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the whole tomatotillos and the light green pepper, cut in half skin up, on the cookie sheet. Cook under the broiler for 8 minutes. Let cook on the stove when done.
  • While cooking vegetables in the broiler, dice onion and peppers. Preheat large soup pot on medium heat. Add olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Add onions, peppers, and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add ground chicken and break apart with a spoon. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Cook chicken until it's no longer pink in the middle (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently. Keep warm.
  • In a food processor, add broiled vegetables with a bit of salt and pepper, honey, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Process until pureed. Add to the soup pot.
  • Rinse and drain pinto and garbanzo beans. Add to the soup pot. Add remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and bring chili to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  • While soup is simmering, chop fresh cilantro and dice avocado.
  • Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and avocado. Chips or warmed tortillas are a good compliment.

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