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Chicken and Black-Eyed Pea Chili

February 17, 2010

For some reason, I got really excited at the idea of a chili with black-eyed peas.  I guess it seemed like novel idea and a

chicken and black-eyed pea chili

new enough variation on chili that it made me excited to make it.  The original recipe is by Michael Symon who doesn’t seem to be able to make anything without pork in it.  So, instead of pork cheeks (which I wouldn’t know where to find anyway) and bacon, I used chicken, and sped up the process by using canned black-eyed peas.  Even with all my shortcuts, it didn’t lack anything and has amazing flavor and smokiness from the spices.  I ended up changing this recipe so much it doesn’t really resemble the original much, but I really liked it and it makes an easy weeknight meal.  I used freshly toasted and ground cumin and coriander, which adds a lot of flavor, but pre-ground will work just fine.  I also removed the skin from the chicken before browning it to reduce the fat.  If you’re worried about the chicken getting tough, you can rub the spices under the skin and brown it with the skin on, then remove the skin before cooking.  I halved the recipe, which makes 4-5 servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 T ground coriander

1/2 T sweet smoked paprika

1 t ground cumin

1/2 chicken (about 2 lbs), or 1 breast and 1 whole leg of the same weight

2 T olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 c amber ale or porter

1 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 t ground chipotle chili

28 oz can whole plum tomatoes with their juices

2 14 oz cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 small cinnamon stick

Sour cream, cilantro and cheese for serving

Directions:

Mix coriander, cumin and smoked paprika a small bowl.  Cut chicken into parts- cut breast in half crosswise, and separate leg and thigh.  Rub the spices on the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add chicken and brown, about 4 minutes on each side, being careful not to let the spices burn.  Remove chicken and place in a bowl.

Add onion, jalapeno, bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the beer and chicken broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.  Add chicken and any juices back to pot, and add the tomato juice.  Crush the whole tomatoes in your hands and add those to the pot.  Add the chipotle chili, black-eyed peas and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded.  Check for salt and pepper and add more water or broth if the soup is too thick.  Remove the chicken from the pot and remove from the bone, shredding the meat with two forks.  Return meat to the pot and heat through, then serve.

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