Hye Thyme Cafe: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Great Northern Beans

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Friday, January 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Great Northern Beans



When my oldest nephew was in college, he had my sister and I come out a few times to do cooking demos for him and his buddies.  It was really more about us getting to know everyone and feeding them than their actually learning anything, but we were all good with that.  

On one such trip, we learned that one of his buddies, Liam, made an awesome Chicken Chili, so of course we made sure to get the recipe before we left.  We have been eating variations of it ever since.

I never had a slow cooker of my own.  It's not as though it's a huge expense or anything - I just never saw myself using one.  After using my sister's to make a cheater version of an Armenian dish, Harissa, I started re-thinking that.  I then made Oatmeal, Root Beer Pulled Pork, and even a Pot Roast in a slow cooker.  As one of my Christmas presents this year, I got one of my very own.  Thanks sis!  So it was only natural that I christen it with a batch of Chicken Chili, the making of which I had thus far left to her.

INGREDIENTS:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lg onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 t better than bouillon chicken stock paste
32 oz chicken broth
small can diced chilies
8 oz salsa
2 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
12 oz Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
Optional Garnish: Avocado, Tortilla Chips, Cilantro, Sour Cream

If necessary, start by trimming your chicken of any excess fat, etc., then cut each piece into three, so you're starting with big chunks.

Toss the chicken into the slow cooker along with the onion, garlic, and stock paste, then cover with chicken broth.  As it turned out, the whole carton was more than was necessary, so I ended up ladling some out later.  According to the directions for the slow cooker, the pot needs to be half full, so you can decide for yourself whether you want to start off shallow or reduce it later.

Cook on low for several hours until it's basically tender enough to start falling apart.  I don't like the idea of going to work with something cooking without me all day, but people do it all over the world, so if that prospect doesn't give you heart palpitations, by all means, turn it on when you head off to work - I'll stick to weekends when I'm around.  I don't mind running out for coffee or a quick errand, but that really does make me nervous.

OK, now that your chicken is uuber tender, go ahead and use two forks to shred it like you would with pulled pork.  If it's easier, you can take the pieces out and shred them on a plate and pour it back in so you don't miss any.

Add the chilies, salsa, and beans to the pot to let the beans heat through and the new flavors to seep in, then (reduce the stock if necessary) stir in the cheese just before serving.













3 comments:

  1. i love having avocado as a chili garnish--the buttery richness of it makes it the perfect accompaniment!

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    1. I thought I had some sour cream in the fridge too, but it turned out to be a little container of ricotta. Oops! Ricotta not so good on chili. ;)

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