Chicken Chili

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Of all the things I am (overzealous, over-thinking, over-exaggerating), there are many things I am not, and at the very, very top of that list is being a morning person (and right underneath it, being a night owl). It has been a battle my entire life to wake up in the morning, and it hasn't gotten easier over the years. But on Monday morning, against all odds, I woke up half an hour early and made this chicken chili recipe knowing I'd love myself for it that night, despite how grumpy I was chopping onions in my pajamas and having to leave the house when it felt like negative 20 degrees outside.

And I was right! It was so worth it. I was worried about the slow-cooker being on all day while I was gone (partially because it's an ancient one, partially because it's my nature to worry), I'd never done that before, but when I opened the door to our apartment complex and smelled the chili from our mailbox, all was at ease. It was like a personal chef had been in our apartment all day making the best winter remedy. And because it was ready when we came home from work at 5:30, dinner was eaten and cleaned up by 6:30. Allowing me to be in bed by 8.

Ingredients (serves six-eight):
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken parts, cut into 3 to 4 large chunks (I used a 50/50 mix of breasts and thighs)
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 to 2 jalapenos or other fresh hot pepper, minced
2 10-ounce cans Ro-Tel
2 2/3 cups small dried beans (I used half black beans, half small red beans)
5 1/3 cups water (can replace all or part with broth)

Throw everything in the slow-cooker and turn the heat on! HIGH for 4-5 hours; LOW for 8-10 hours.

To finish: The chicken will likely have fallen apart, but you can help it along by reaching into the pot with two forks and shredding it to your desired texture. Serve with fixings of your choice.

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