Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili

So since I had the day off, I felt the need to make a meal that would challenge, and boy did it!  Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I had ALL day, and as my husband always likes to say, "Our days off are always busier than our days working", which is usually true.  On top of using my lasik warranty to get my eyes checked and getting my hair done, my husband and I got our kids and did homework while I decided to start this meal.
Now as I said before, I love to get all of my recipes from Internet sites, books, and even cooking magazines.  I believe this one came from one of my cooking magazines, Taste of Home I think, but I have so many recipes everywhere that it's a little hard to keep track!
I had to chop some onion and mince fresh garlic.  That went into a Dutch oven with some oil over medium heat until the onion and garlic were tender.
If you're like me, you'll hate this next part as much as I did.  I had to cut a whole chicken into pieces.  ONE, I hate touching chicken anyway, it's just a weird feeling, and TWO, cutting a whole chicken isn't the easiest thing to do in the world.  I'm sure there are easier ways to cut a whole chicken, but hey, this is a work in progress.  I'll let you know when I find one.  :)
However, I certainly enjoyed the next step!  I got to dump almost everything else into the pot (almost!).  There's something about throwing a ton of ingredients into a pot at once that I just find so exciting.  I'm such a food nerd, I know.  :)  Some chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, the cut up chicken pieces and chicken broth!  Then I let that stew for an hour while I prepped everything else.
Next comes the sweet potatoes!  Can't have a chicken and sweet potato chili without the sweet potatoes!  I took three medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut them into small cubes, and set them aside for later!
Now I've never worked with Quinoa before, so I was pretty excited to work with it tonight.  Quinoa is a grain, it actually looked a little like small bird seed when it was dry!  But it's also full of protein and that was a good additive to the meal, especially with the black bean flavor!  I cooked it in some chicken broth until it fluffed up (it took about 17-20 minutes but I suggest keeping an eye on it, as the recipe suggested 12-15 minutes), kind of like rice but not at all as heavy, and set that aside for later, as well.
Next was to take the chicken pieces out, strain the broth of any fat, put it all back into the dutch oven with the potatoes, the Quinoa, black and kidney beans and some diced tomatoes.  I let that cook until the potatoes were softened (that was about another 15-20 minutes).
While that goodness was stewing, I pulled the chicken off of the bones and cut them into small pieces.
Once the sweet potatoes were soft, I put the chicken into it and let it cook until it warmed through and voila!!  There you have Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili.  The flavors were amazing and guess what?  Our boys LOVED it!
I'm still learning how to do this whole 'blog' thing, so hopefully I didn't bore you too much.  I'll work on being more entertaining for next time!  :)  Thanks for reading!  Here's the recipe for all of you who are interested!

Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili
1 medium onion, chopped
1 whole garlic bulb, cloves separated, peeled and mined (I like my garlic a little bigger so I do a  lighter chop of them than mincing)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs.), cut up
3 2/3 plus 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 tbsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup Quinoa
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cans (15 oz. ea) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (16 oz. ea) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

Happy cooking!!!!

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