We've had a semblance of "winter" here in southern California. Thank goodness something other than the hot, crazy weather we've had the past 6 months. We've had more rain in the past few weeks than we've had in a couple of years- the weatherman has been warning us El Nino is coming- and the temps have been in the high 30's and low 40's in the mornings. Nothing compared to the east coast, but it's something for us here! Cooler weather used to mean I get to braise to my heart's content. But, with returning to work part-time, it's difficult to babysit my oven and my slow cooker has been working overtime.
Chili in many forms has been a favorite in our house- Steak and Stout Chili, Chicken Verde Chili, and now this new recipe- Smoky Chipotle Chicken, Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili. What better way to celebrate the end of the NFL season than with a hearty and delicious bowl of chili with all the fixings?
This Chicken Chili is packed with flavor- smoky, spicy, a little sweet- it's just about the perfect blend of everything. It's also one nutritious meal. Sweet potato, quinoa, black beans- many ingredients that should be on your "eat more of" list. It tastes even better as leftovers, smokier and spicier as the flavors meld.
If you're like me, the best part of a bowl of chili is the toppings. This chili is a little one-note in texture (for me,) so I loaded my cup up with some chopped green onion, sliced avocado, cilantro, and the piece de resistance- a few Fritos. Baked tortilla chips would be delicious as well, something crunchy is the point. I just happen to love Fritos in my chili.
- Don't overcook this chili. I found the sweet potatoes were cooked through but not yet mushy at about 3 hours on low in my slow cooker. All slow cookers are a little different, so I'd check it at 3 hours, then let it go a little longer if the sweet potatoes aren't quite done. I seared the chicken thighs beforehand, so I wasn't worried about the chicken not cooking through in 3 hours.
- I've tried a few different type beers in this chili- a wheat pale ale, a stout, and my favorite- a pumpkin ale. The Pumpkin Ale flavors played off the smokey and sweet flavors in the chili nicely.
Smoky Chipotle Chicken, Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat- trimmed of extra fat, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
cracked black pepper
1 sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
cracked black pepper
2 cans black beans, drained
1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 15oz cans fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
1 small can mild green chilies
2 chipotle in adobo, diced
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 12 oz beer (I used KBC Pumpkin Ale from Trader Joe's)
Turn your slow cooker on to it's low setting.
- In a medium sized dutch oven, heat the olive oil
- Season the chicken pieces with the smoked paprika, kosher salt, and pepper
- Sear the chicken on one or two sides for a few minutes in the oil
- Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate
- Back in the dutch oven, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, sweet potatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and sauté just until the onion starts to soften (about 2 minutes)
- Stir in the black beans, quinoa, tomatoes, green chilies, chipotle in adobo, chicken broth, and beer
- Check the seasoning, and add more kosher salt and/or black pepper if necessary
- Add back in the chicken with it's juices, and stir
- Pour the mixture into the slow cooker, and set the timer for 3 hours (on low setting.)
- If the sweet potatoes aren't quite done at 3 hours, cook until they are just fork tender. Do not overcook them, however, or they will become mushy.
Top chili with your favorite add-ons. We like sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, corn chips... Whatever you like!
If you use dairy free sour cream (Better than Sour Cream is delicious), and a dairy-free shredded cheese (like Daiya), this recipe is dairy-free!