Fast Chicken & Cannellini Bean Chili

So what is chili exactly? Google that and you’ll find about 4 trillion different answers.  And how is it different from stew? And then what’s the difference between stew and soup?  Dizzying.

In any event the original name of this recipe did call it a ‘chili’ so I’ll keep that. I guess I’m just used to a tomato based chili with beef and beans and onion so for me having a chili that is not red and has onions and green chilis and chicken immediately makes me think its soup. But surprisingly it has the taste and consistency of chili. A subtle heat from the chilis, the beany texture, the chicken chunks and the yummy onions all make for one delicious bite.

This came together in less than 30 minutes making it perfect for a fast weeknight meal on a chilly night. If you used rotisserie or left over chicken it would be even faster.

chili

Fast Chicken & Cannellini Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1lb skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 small onion, halved then sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 ozs canned green chilis
  • 14 ozs low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
  • cilantro leaves

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt on chicken then add chicken to the pot.  Saute 4 minutes. Add onion through the pepper flakes and saute another 3 or 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of the beans and the water and, using a wooden spoon, be sure to get everything scraped and mixed thoroughly. Add 1/2 tsp salt,  7 ozs of chilis and the broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Mash up the remaining beans and chilies and add it to the pot. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add ancho and chili powders to taste and simmer a few more minutes.
  3. Serve with cilantro.

Adapted from Fast Chicken Chili, Cooking Light, Sept 2012

 

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Best Tasty Shredded Chicken BBQ-slow cooker

Real BBQ people will be rolling their eyes at this name won’t they? It’s not REAL BBQ since 1) I don’t own a smoker (and you really need that for it to be real BBQ right?) and  2) I cooked it in my slow cooker and 3) I used jarred (GASP!!) BBQ sauce.

I will assume though that I will be quickly forgiven for this naming faux pas once those eye-rollers taste this chicken. I didn’t name it what I did because it’s only mediocre.  It’s delicious. It’s also so easy to make it nearly makes itself.

I used a BBQ sauce from my local Fairway Market-it’s their own bbq sauce and was in the middle of the line-not sweet, not hot, just smokey with a fair balance of sweet and spice-but nowhere near hot. In fact, it’s called ‘Schmokey’ which I think is cute. So get yourself a great tasting sauce for this and tuck in for a few hours.  Look at that beauty!!

bbq11

Best Tasty Shredded Chicken BBQ

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in half then sliced to 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced, seeds removed
  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 8 breast halves)
  • 1 18oz jar BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup cola (not diet)
  • 3 (+/-) tbsp arrowroot
  • fresh bread that can hold up to the chicken (I used fresh French bread cut thickly), thinly sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese etc.. to assemble sandwiches.

Instructions:

  1. Place onion and lemon in the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Place the chicken on top of that and pour the BBQ sauce and cola over it.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour and then cook for 4 hours on low or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Using a slotted spoon or a spider remove the chicken pieces and put them on a platter to cool slightly.  Remove the lemon pieces and discard. Leave the onions and the sauce in the pot and add the arrow-root 1 tbsp at a time, stirring to combine, allowing it to rest for a few minutes and thicken. It might take another tbsp or 2 but be patient-it will thicken eventually.
  4. While you’re dealing with the sauce resting/thickening shred the chicken.  Forget the 2 forks. If it’s cool enough just use your hands and pull it apart. 
  5. When sauce has become thick add the chicken back into it, stir, and let it cook for another few minutes to make sure every little piece has a nice coating of sauce.

As far as serving I made an outstanding, but very simple, sandwich. I also think that this would be great on nachos, baked potatoes or hell just tasty with a fork.

This made 5 sandwiches like you see in the photo and I froze about 4 cups as well.

This was an interesting adaptation. I started off originally with the Chicken Barbecue recipe from the Cooking Light Slow Cooker book.  Everything is the same until the chicken is finished cooking.  The original recipe instructions were to mix flour and water and then add that to the sauce. Disaster. It rolled up into these disgusting globs as soon as it hit the sauce. I had to pick every one of them out of the sauce. Yuck. I’m glad I was able to salvage the recipe at all-even happier that it came out so amazingly delicious.  The original recipe also didn’t shred the chicken or make a sandwich-just served the breast with sauce on it. So I guess this is highly adapted from that recipe.

Fritatta di Saldiccia e Cipolle (Sausage & Onion Fritatta)

I am a huge lover of public television-no commercials and the programming is so great.  I don’t know if it’s like this all over but I have a spin-off of one of my regular PBS channels called Create. It’s cooking, crafts, gardening and travel. It’s got great shows-Pepin, Child, America’s Test Kitchen and so on. If you ask me Food Network could learn a lot from them-such variety.

I’m getting off the point here. Nick Stellino is one of the chefs that has a show on the channel and he makes some yummy stuff. The fritatta below was inspired by him. Pretty easy and really tasty.  The onions cook for a while so they get nice and sweet.  This is delicious warm or great at room temperature the next day or reheated.

I served it with my delicious roasted broccoli.

frit

Fritatta di Saldiccia e Cipolle

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1&1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (I used part sweet part hot) out of the casings
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cook 3 tbsp oil in an oven-safe 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot add the onions, red pepper flakes and thyme and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to avoid sticking.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  3. While the onions are cooking brown the sausage. When it’s cooked put the sausage in a strainer to drain of excess fat.  Discard the fat and keep sausage on the side for use later.
  4. In a bowl beat the eggs with 1/2 tsp salt and set aside for use later.
  5. When the 20 minutes for the onions is up add 1/2 tsp of the salt, the pepper and 1 tsp of the garlic, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 more minutes stirring every few minutes again.   Then pour the mixture into a large bowl.  Wipe the pan clean.
  6. Add the cooked sausage and parsley to the onions and mix well. Then add the beaten egg mixture and the remaining garlic and mix well.
  7. In the pan wiped clean cook the 3 remaining tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. When it’s hot pour the contents of the bowl into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes then stir. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until just set then transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes then remove, sprinkle the cheese on the top, and return to the oven for another few minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Serves 4-6

I always worry about burning the hell out of my hand by grabbing the handle of the pan after it’s out of the oven and cooling so usually I keep the handle turned way in so that I can’t grab it. How I never thought to just put an oven mit over the handle before is beyond me.  Now I don’t have to worry (and yes those are margaritas on the oven mit :).

frit2

 

Pickled Red Onion

Onions. Yum! Pickled Red Onions. Double Yum!

I saw these on three square chef’s blog and knew immediately what I’d make for this month’s recipe swap.  I love these onions on burgers, sandwiches-you name it-but I had never looked into making them before.  It couldn’t be easier and they’re so delicious. Tart and tingily and oniony and slightly sweet. A great addition to really anything! I put these on falafel burgers that I made last night and will post that recipe next week.

onion2

Pickled Red Onion

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweetener (sugar, honey, etc..)
  • 1&1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red onion, sliced

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients except onion in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Place sliced onion in a jar and pour the vinegar mixture over it.
  3. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour or store it in the fridge.

Yield: about 1/2 cup

Original Source: Bon Appetit

Thank you Sarah (http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com) for hosting the swap~~



 onion1

Zuppa di Cipolle di Toscano (Tuscan Onion Soup)

Ah onions. I love onions. And soup. I love soup. Onion soup is a marriage of 2 of my favorite things.  This onion soup is so so so good. It’s similar to French Onion Soup but the addition of pancetta and parmesan (YUMMMYYYY!!!) give it that nice Tuscan flare and therefore, better than the French one.  It’s so easy to make, it reheats well, freezes well and can be eaten for lunch, dinner, as an appetizer or whatever. So versatile. This recipe is a keeper!!  If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see the broth, onions, parmsan cheese and just a bit of the crust of a garlic toasted bread that’s on the bottom of the bowl. Yes, really.

Onion

Zuppa di Cipolle di Toscano: Tuscan Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta diced
  • 5 large yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced (mandolin 3/16”)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 cups hot beef broth fresh or low-sodium canned
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 rolls cut in half length-wise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Grinding coarse black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat, add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions, cover the pot and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring often. When the onions are limp add the lemon juice and allow it to evaporate.
  2. Pour in the broth and wine. Stir the mixture. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep the soup warm while you fry the bread.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan, add minced garlic and brown the bread on both sides. Place a slice in each of 4 individual soup bowls. Pour the soup over the bread and divide and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Adapted from Maryann Esposito via PBS Food.