Servings: 16 Prep: 30 min Cook: 1 hr 30 mins Total: 2 hrs
Stewy, soft and meaty concoctions like this always get made in huge quantities in my house. I always make FAR more than I really need, but then I chill it down, portion it and freeze it. Some of the time I vacuum pack it and other times I put it in little plastic tubs. They get stacked in the freezer for a lazy day.
I have some friends that live up the street. I had just loaded the freezer when I walked over to visit with them. My new mother friend said, “I’m hungry. DJ, what should I make?” I said, “Well, I just made a huge batch of the Triple Chi. You want some?” Being a smart young woman, she said, “Yep!” I explained where it was, and she strolled with her baby over to my crib, opened the door, walked past my unthreatening and far-too-friendly puppy and pulled two plastic tubs from the freezer. She came home, warmed it up and made a salad. Her and her husband loved it, asking me how I made the chicken so soft. I explained how cooking meat for a long time will eventually break down the meat, creating a perfectly soft chunk. “It’s kind of like curry.” one of them said. The other said, “You know… it’s got a mole vibe to it!”.
I couldn’t agree more!
This chili has a sophisticated and complex spice profile, while having sincere, but not over-the-top heat. I have mixed feelings for chipotles, feeling a bit like they’ve had their day. Then, I remember why! Smoked jalapeños floating in a spicy tomato sauce have INCREDIBLE flavor. They may have had their day, but today is also that day, if I’ve got anything to say about it!
I used a combination of both whole muscle chicken, as well as ground chicken. This was to help with the texture. Ground chicken will help give it a soft, thick and comforting style sauce. The bell peppers add a bit of sweet texture and lovely blasts of red. Finally, the sweet potatoes add a bit of bulk and a subtle twinge of starch to help thicken up the whole caboodle.
Let me just say how happy I am to have a small tower of this stuff stacked in my freezer.
Note: Recipe will make about 16 cups of Chili.
Triple Chi (Chicken-Chipotle Chili)Print Rate
- 1/4 + 2 tbsp cup fat (such as lard or avocado oil) divided
- 1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 large onion diced
- 12 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 3.5 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tbsp 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey
- 4 small red bell peppers ribs and seeds removed, cut into roughly 1-inch (2.5 cm) squares
- 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes peeled and cut into roughly 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 2 tbsp ground cumin seed
- 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 lbs chicken meat skinless, boneless and cubed (assorted)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a large pot over medium heat.
- Once the pot is hot, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) fat and stir or swirl to coat the bottom. Quickly add the pumpkin seeds and stir. This will lightly toast the seeds.
- After about 1 minute of stirring and moving the seeds around the hot fat, add the blanched almonds. Continue stirring.
- After about 1 minute of stirring the seeds and nuts, add the sesame seeds. Continue stirring.
- After about 1 minute of stirring the seeds and nuts, add the onions and garlic with a little salt and pepper. Stir to coat the onions with the fat. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chipotle peppers, tomatoes, chili powder, sweetener, and cocoa powder. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer the contents for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, in a blender or food processor, puree the Chili base until smooth. Set aside.
- Wash the large pot, then place on the stove over high heat.
- Once the pot is hot, add 2 tbsp (30 mL) fat and stir or swirl to coat the bottom. Add the ground chicken or turkey. Break apart and stir. Add some salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is cooked through and beginning to brown.
- When the ground meat has a little color, add the sweet potatoes and bell peppers. Add some more salt and pepper, then stir to coat with meat, seasoning and fat.
- Add the Chili base to the pot and reduce the temperature to low.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, about 2 tsp (10 mL) of salt and a skosh of black pepper.
- Add the chicken to the mixing bowl and mix, coating the chicken with the spice blend.
- Place a large sauté pan on the stove over high heat. When the pan is screaming hot, add the remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) of fat to the bottom of the pan. Swirl around to coat. Quickly add a single even layer of chicken along the bottom of the pan. Do not put too much chicken, as it’ll cool the pan down. Less is better. The goal is to both add some color to piece of chicken, while also lightly toasting the spices coating the chicken pieces. You may need to do this in two or three batches. If so, once your chicken pieces are browned and aromatic, add to the large pot with the Chili base. Repeat this process until all the chicken is cooked and in the large pot.
- Stir the chicken in the pot. All the Chili to simmer for about 45 minutes. Add more salt, if necessary. The chili is done with the sweet potatoes are soft and the chicken is tender.
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