I know, I know…….typically, chili is seen in the fall, with cool days, but here in Florida those don’t come around too often. We have been having a lot of stormy afternoons lately, so the comforting chili has made an early appearance!
I tend to use canned beans with chili as a time saver, but you can use dried if you prefer. As a matter of fact, the beans I use change frequently, dictated by what’s in the cabinet. The only thing that I try to keep constant is the low sodium, which is why I ended up with organic beans this time. I just want you to know any beans will do –
When a recipe calls for cumin or coriander, I like to take the time to use whole seeds, toast them and then grind them in a coffee grinder. The aromatics are so intense, toasting them is imperative as who knows how long the seeds sat in the containers before they reached our cabinets. This will really refresh them and make a HUGE difference in flavor. (FYI, the same theory is true with nuts). Just put the seeds in a small sauté pan by themselves over medium low heat, and roll them around until you start to smell them. Be careful not to walk away, as they are quick to be forgotten about and even quicker to burn! 🙂
To char the peppers, just throw them on the grill, or roast them in the high heated oven until a charred color is achieved. Sometimes a roasted/charred pepper will call for the skin to be removed, but in this case I don’t think it is necessary, it is chili after all-
I love the spicy sweet of this recipe, the cinnamon ties it all together perfectly, without taking a lead role.
Roasted Poblano and Apricot Chicken Chili
2 teaspoon olive oil 1 Bay Leaf 2/3 cup chopped onion 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 2 lbs. ground chicken breast 15 oz. canned low sodium organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed 15 oz. canned low sodium soy beans, drained and rinsed 4 cups chicken stock 2/3 cup diced dried apricots 1½ teaspoon toasted ground cumin 1½ teaspoon toasted ground coriander 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 lime, zest and juice 2 poblano peppers, charred and diced ½ cup white corn meal 3 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Start by heating the olive oil in a heavy 4-quart sauce pan; add the bay leaf, chopped onion, chopped garlic and ground chicken breast and sauté. When the onions are translucent and the chicken is cooked add the beans and the chicken stock to the pot. Bring the ingredients to a slow simmer and add the apricots, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, lime zest, lime juice, and diced poblano peppers.
Let the chili simmer for 5 minutes, then add the white corn meal, stirring until the chili is thickened. Allow the chili to continue cooking over low heat for the flavors to meld together. Put the chopped cilantro in a few minutes before serving, which leaves the color fresh and bright!
Garnish with sour cream, salsa, corn tortilla chips, or whatever you like. As with most chili…the next day the flavors were even more developed – if it can last that long in your house!