Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mama Becky's Famous 3-Bean Chicken Chili

Chili is really one of my favorite things in the world to make. It's ridiculously easy (just throw everything into a pot), it tastes great, and it warms you up on a cold night. On Thursday I made another batch of my three-bean chicken chili, and it promises to last me for another few days still. That's the great thing about mass quantities, isn't it?

My recipe is kind of an amalgamation of a bunch of different recipes I've tried over the years. I like this chili more than any other because (1) it's healthy (South Beach phase 1!), (2) it's stupendously easy, (3) I always have the ingredients on hand, and (4) it tastes great. It's got a great blend of spices, and you can kick it up a notch with as much cayenne pepper as you can stand, or even some hot jalapeno or chile peppers if you dare. (I personally prefer to stick to a bit of cayenne, but hey, I'm a wimp.) Make a big pot so you can enjoy it for more than one meal!

As far as wine, I would recommend a Malbec or Red Zin. If you're making the chili really spicy, though, you might want to go with a red with more acidity... maybe an Italian red like Sangiovese or Barbera. I've been drinking a Cotes du Rhone with the chili this week because that's what I had on hand, and it's served me just fine.

Mama Becky's Famous 3-Bean Chicken Chili
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (more to taste)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (or one package pre-cooked chicken breast strips)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until slightly tender. Mix in the garlic, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until onions are fully cooked, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and all three kinds of beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm!


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