I'm not usually a big chili eater-- a childhood hatred of kidney beans led to an irrational dislike of chili in general. I've overcome my bean phobia, but I still don't actively seek out chili. However, I was perusing one of my favorite websites (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com) , and found a recipe that appealed to me. Coincidentally, it was in keeping with this month's theme! Serendipity, baby.
1 1/2 pounds chicken ( I went with thighs-- it's your call)
1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
2 chopped celery stalks
2 (14.5 oz) cans tomatoes with seasoning (I used the chili-ready Red Gold Diced tomatoes)
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans
1 onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Essentially, you simply open all the cans, dump it into the crock pot, toss the frozen chicken on top, and then add the diced celery and onion as well as the spices. Here's a little photo montage of the various stages:
A sidebar: Natalie came into the kitchen as I was chopping the onion, and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was preparing chili for the cooking challenge, and and told her she would get to deliver a thumbs-up or thumbs-down verdict on the finished product. She got close to the chopped onions, and said, very seriously, "Mom. Those are a THUMBS-DOWN." And then asked me to take a picture of her opinion:
Anyway. Once you've got everything in the crockpot, crank that baby up to "High" and let it simmer for 6-8 hours. I left the house to study, and when I got home, I found this:
I gave it a good stir to shred the chicken, and it was good to go. We added a little shredded cheese and a little plain yogurt (as I have no sour cream in the house), and tasted the final product. The verdict?
We all really liked it. I was AMAZED that Natalie ate it, but she did! It made a ton, so I'm glad we liked it, as we'll be eating it for lunch for the next few days. I really liked the fact that the only ingredients I didn't already have on hand were the enchilada sauce and the celery. Other than that, it was strictly from the pantry. I think I might try it with black beans next time, and I might amp up the cumin and the chili powder a bit, but overall it was delicious. Thanks, Crockpot Lady!