Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili
Chili is one of my favorite types of soups/stews/whatever you want to classify it as. It comes in so many different textures and flavors. Spicy, mild, thick, light, with beans, without beans, with pretty much any type of meat imaginable (I’m quite the fan of ground beef or turkey, to be honest), lots of veggies or very few. The list could go on for quite some time. But I won’t bore you with all those ingredients. If you didn’t have an idea before, you surely do now.
I remember the first time I made any type of chili. When I was young, mom made it. But it wasn’t often. In fact, the closest thing to chili that I ate was Wendy’s version. That’s what I’m talking about when I say it can be “light”, as in, the opposite of “thick”. Super soupy. I digress. We were living in the apartment in Bremerton, using that teeny tiny galley of a kitchen to make food. I had a pack of beef stew meat and some odd assortment of beans, corn, some beer, and a can of pumpkin. The Fellow™ offered to help. (So really, I guess this is the recollection of the first time I attempted chili, but he did most of the work) He threw everything into the pot on the stove with its rickety burners caked over with crud from many failed attempts at doing a dozen different dishes I didn’t quite know how to make in recent weeks. I reached out to stay his hand as he went to dump the pumpkin in the pot. “What are you doing?!” I asked. Pumpkin? In chili? Pfft. “No one in the history of anything has ever done that, silly.” Boy, did I have egg on my face when I learned otherwise. And not because he was putting eggs in the chili…
Little did I realize at that time just how flexible a recipe for chili could be. The results of said “experiment” (I call it that because he knew what he was doing, I did not, and therefore we were giving it a try together) ended up being delicious. I wanted to make more! But to re-create his steps to get the exact flavor would have been impossible. He didn’t remember what all he used and in what increments, so I had to play the guessing game. I’m still playing that guessing game, since it’s been quite a few years and the memory of those flavors have left me.
These days, I’m doing a number of other “types” of chili. I still prefer my ground meat (beef, pork[sausage], turkey) in it, and I don’t care what anyone from anywhere else claims, chili has beans in it. You can debate bell peppers and corn and chili powder, but I will not accept the idea that beans don’t belong in chili. I found an argument over at LifeHacker.com about who’s right and who’s wrong, and there will never be a true winner in the debate. Except for right now. Because I’m telling you, chili is not chili without beans. Actually, I feel more like chili wouldn’t be chili if it didn’t have chili powder and cumin in it. But that’s just me.
So anyway, when it came time to make a chili for my soupstravaganza, I had a couple different choices. Beef and pumpkin or turkey and pumpkin, or white chicken chili or… who knows what else. But I decided on going the way of chicken, mainly because I had lots of it to spare and I already had some pork and beef soups already made or in the works. Really didn’t want to load us up on tomato based soups with beef in it. If you’ve read my blog long enough, you’ll know that those things combined doesn’t always make a stomach happy in this household. This is a recipe I’ve been sitting on for awhile. I’ve made it once before and it would good. I enjoyed it enough to consider it as a contender, but I knew I had to up the ante just a little. Maybe a little more pepper or a little more garlic. Some tiny tweak that would make it the best chicken chili ever.
When I was actually throwing all the ingredients in the crockpot, I didn’t change a thing. Mainly because I forgot as I was also multi-tasking on the stove top and in another crockpot. Whoops.
Still, the end result was great. After it had cooled, I divided it into my labeled Ziploc bags and ended up with an extra cup of it that had nowhere to go. I didn’t want to give a single cup its own bag, nor did I want to divide it up even further when I had already spent the time getting all the air out of the bags. In to a tupperware container it went and I brought it to work with me the next day to give to a co-worker. To say she was pleased with it (the gesture and the soup) would be an understatement. She loved it, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s one thing to cook and bake really great things for the people you’re surrounded by; it’s a whole other thing to have someone not used to your cooking give you mighty compliments. Made my day!
Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili
source: The Girl Who Ate Everything [Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili]
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can of chili beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can of corn, drained
2 cups chicken broth
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (use 3 if they’re small)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
toppings of your choice (cheese, sour cream, avocados, and tortilla strips