The Thursday Gourmet19 March, 2009
Last week, I offered up a fairly conventional cornbread recipe. To go with cornbread, of course, one needs chili. So, without further ado, here is
Chile con el Pollo y las Alcachofas
(Chili with Chicken and Artichokes)
This is one of my own personal recipes. It is not a traditional chili. But it is very good chili. Rich and tasty, but not too spicy.
1 cup dried small read chili beans, rinsed and picked over for stones
1 cup pinto beans, rinsed and picked over for stones
Place beans in a large pot. Add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil uncovered, and keep at a boil for about ten minutes. Drain and rinse the beans. Set them aside.
3 slices thick smoked bacon, finely diced
2 onions, roughly chopped (I use red onions, but any large onions will do)
Brown and render the bacon. Make sure the bacon is fully cooked, but not burning. Add the onions and fry until translucent. Add the beans. Add
32 ounces (give or take (I use Wegman’s Culinary Stock)) of good vegetable stock
Bring to a boil, add enough water to cover beans by about 4 inches. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat until the liquid is roiling gently. Cover and let simmer until the beans are almost tender. It will not smell anything like chili, but you can trust me — this really is a chili recipe. When the beans are close to cooked, add
2 green peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (~14 ounce) artichoke hearts, each heart quartered
1 can (~14 ounce) diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained (as little tomato juice as possible)
2 cups chopped tomatillos (if fresh, remove the papery skins) or green tomtatoes*
1 small can diced green chilies
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2 small green chili peppers (serranos are perfect) diced (add the seeds for a spicier chili, leave the seeds and membranes out for a milder chili)
1/2 cup fresh leaf corriander (cilantro) or about 3 Tablespoons dried
More water to keep the liquid at least 1 inch above the beans
Bring back to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for another hour. It should be fairly thick and almost opaque. If too thick add water, if too thin, bring up the heat and reduce the liquid. Then add
1 pound chicken breast, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
DO NOT BRING BACK TO A BOIL!!! It will make the chicken chewy. Simmer on the lowest possible heat setting until the chicken pieces are cooked through. Taste and add salt (if needed). Ladle into bowls and add a little diced red onion on top. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips and a good dark beer (Negro Modello or Yuengling Black and Tan).
There it is, folks. One of about 20 different chili recipes I use. Enjoy.
* 26MAR09: I forgot the tomatillos the first time. Sorry.