Don’t get me wrong – I love chili – really. It’s just that sometimes I get weary of the tomato-y aspect of it all. Enter Chicken & Corn Chili. Full of diced green chilies, big chunks of chicken, plenty of white beans, and smoked paprika. The broth is savory with chicken broth, garlic, chili powder and plenty of that smoked paprika. To top the whole works off, we crumble some Queso Fresco cheese, which is mild and just a little salty, and then crumble on some corn chips. The whole corn chip aspect is especially challenging for me since I usually end up devouring half the bag before the chili is ready. I have called this ‘quality control’, which is very important in recipe creation, and good for my guilt complex. This chili is just right on a rainy day while you are watching a football game on television, and counting your lucky stars that you are not sitting in the stands.
This chili is just so darned fun to make. The scent of all of that cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika will get me drooling any day. Adding in that colorful corn and roasted red pepper, along with a healthy dose of green chilis and tons of white cannellini (white kidney beans), makes this a real flavor bomb.
It only takes about 30 minutes for the flavors to come together, but feel free to let this guy simmer for an hour or more if you like – the flavors just become all the more concentrated. And don’t forget to keep tasting along the way – that way it will be just right for your own taste. Add the chicken right at the end so it doesn’t get all stringy, which it has a tendency to do when left to it’s own devices for long. I’d say it’s about time to get ourselves a bowl or two…
Hold everything! We almost forgot all the good stuff to put on top. For this recipe, we used Queso cheese, but feel free to add whatever suits your fancy. And don’t forget the corn chips if there are any left after you opened the bag while the chili was cooking – this is especially challenging for yours truly.
Grab a spoon, dive in, and don’t foget to save some scoopable chips for dipping!!
And there you have it – all for you. Hope you have fun making this one of your own favorites! Happy Fall everyone, and thanks so much for reading today. xoxox
- NOTE: You’ll see that I’ve provided a lot of leeway in the quantities in this recipe – you might want to start with less and move up to more, depending on your preferences. This is one of those recipes that only gets better with your own decisions on what you like best. Don’t worry! Get as creative as you want with this one – you can’t go wrong if you just keep tasting until it’s just right for you. xoxo
- 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1-teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 -2 jars roasted red pepper, drained and diced (the amount is totally up to you, depending on your red pepper preferences)
- 2-3 large cans diced green chilies
- 2-4 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 2-3 cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 quarts of chicken broth (be prepared to have a little more on hand if you need it, or if you prefer a thinner chili)
- 1-2 generous teaspoon of smoked paprika, or more to taste
- 1-2 generous teaspoon chili powder – add more if you like
- 1-2 generous teaspoon cumin – add more if you like
- Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- 6-8 cups of cooked, cubed chicken (The easiest way is to buy boneless and skinless chicken parts and simmer them in chicken broth until cooked though – then cool and dice. You could also do the same for bone-in chicken parts, or if you are feeling very adventurous, go on ahead and cook an entire whole chicken, then cool and remove chicken and skin from bones and dice – all up to you).
- For thickening (optional) 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup water. NOTE: Your chili with continue to thicken without cornstarch due to the starch in the beans, but I like mine super thick. You could also puree a can of beans and stir into the chili to thicken it.
- 1-2 cups crumbled Queso Fresco cheese or shredded cheese of your choice (sharp cheddar is also really good in this one)
- 1-2 cups crushed corn chips or crushed tortilla chips.
- In a large soup pot, sauté onion in canola oil and cook until translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute.
- Add red pepper, diced green chilies, corn, and cannellini beans.
- Pour in chicken broth, and then add smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne.
- Simmer for at least 30 minutes to give flavors a chance to get together and for the chili to thicken.
- If chili is not thick enough to suit you, make slurry of 2 tablespoons cornstarch to about ½ cup water and add to the chili when it is boiling. Continue to cook until mixture thickens and then turn down the heat to low.
- Stir in chicken and continue cooking until chicken is heated through. If you add chicken earlier, it can get kind of stringy which I personally do not like one bit.
- Serve with crumbled Queso or cheese of your choice crumbled/shredded on top, and/or with crumbled corn or tortilla chips.
- Don’t forget to have seconds!