Friday, July 30, 2010

Confetti Chicken Chili

I have a darling little dog named Frito and I am always asked why he is named after a corn chip. The simple answer is that on the day he came to us as a puppy, I had made chili and in my family, we always serve chili with Fritos. He took off with a couple of fritos that we dropped from the table and we started calling him Frito Bandito - Frito for short. I might add that his paws smell like the corn chips too. The chili I made that night is one of my sons' favorite foods and it has ended being comfort food for us when life gets stressful. Frito no longer likes corn chips - he much prefers squeaky balls, but we all still like this chili recipe. It's a little lighter than the usual chili because I use ground chicken and I don't like so many beans, so I also add corn. These ingredients, along with the red and green peppers makes the chili feel very festive and the various colors make it look like a bit like confetti. You can also make it with ground beef if you like or ground turkey works too. It's quick and easy and has won over some friends who aren't that fond of the canned stuff. With a recipe this easy and good, there is no need to buy canned chili again! We serve it with fritos of course or Tortilla Chips and also shredded cheddar cheese.

Confetti Chicken Chili

1 pound ground chicken
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 green pepper chopped
1/2 red (or orange) pepper chopped
1 large can (28 oz) tomato sauce (I use Hunts)
1 can chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
2 - 3 Tablespoons chili powder (I use McCormick and Schmick's)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or several dashes of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Place olive oil in large pot. Heat and add onions, garlic and peppers. Cook until onion is just wilted and add the ground chicken. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Ad tomato sauce, chicken broth, beans, corn and seasoning. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, raw onions if desired and fritos or tortilla chips.

Five Element Analysis

This is a very colorful dish and that is the biggest clue that the Five Elements are represented well here. Chili by it's very nature is a Fire food - it is from the hot Southwest and  this dish also has lots of tomatoes, peppers and some hot chili, which all belong to the Fire Element. The addition of chicken adds some of the Wood Element and the garlic, onions and cumin bring in the Metal Element. The black beans add the Water Element, while the corn and corn chips bring in the Earth Element. As you can see, this ends up being a very balanced bowl of food!

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