This chili is really more like a stew – just full of chicken and lots of red and yellow peppers. It can be made with chicken breasts from the grocery store, but is really tastiest when roasted heritage* chicken is used. It’s a favorite at our house – delicious and healthy too!
It makes a warming winter meal, and is great for any kind of informal winter gathering. Serve with the recommended toppings and appropriate beverages, and you’re done.
*Heritage chickens are traditional chicken breeds that are raised over a longer period of time than today’s factory raised chickens, and therefore develop more flavor (see Heritage Birds for Real Chicken Flavor).
Awesome Chicken Chili
For the chili
- 8 cups chopped yellow onions (6 onions)
- 4 red bell peppers (large dice, cored, seeded, and diced)
- 4 yellow bell peppers (large dice, cored, seeded, and diced)
- 2 teaspoons chili pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 28 - ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- kosher salt (optional - to taste)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
- 2 4 - pound heritage roasting chickens or 8 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
- Chopped onions
- Corn chips
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
Prepare the chicken
- If using heritage roasting chickens, preheat the oven to 325 F degrees, place the two roasting chickens breast down in a graniteware roaster, add water to approximately 1" deep in the roasting pan, and roast for 30 minutes per pound (i.e. if using 4 lb. birds, roast for 2 hours), or until cooked through. Allow to cool, remove chicken from bones and shred, and discard skin and bones (or save for making chicken stock). Pour the collected liquid from the bottom of the roaster into a large measuring cup, refrigerate to separate the fat from the broth, skim and discard fat, and reserve broth for another use.
- If using chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 375 F degrees, place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to cool, remove chicken from bones and shred, and discard the skin and bones.
For the chili
- Cook the onions in oil over medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, tomatoes, salt, and basil.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cooked chicken to the chili and simmer (uncovered) for another 20 minutes to blend flavors.