Chicken Chili My Soul
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into a large dice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3- 15 ounce cans Bush's Chili Beans (Medium Sauce)
- 2- 15 ounce cans Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Petite Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Peppers
- 1 pound onions (about 1 large or 2–3 medium), coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons McCormick's Cocoa Chile Blend
- 4–5 ounces peach chutney, to taste
My secret ingredient!
- In a large stock pot heat beans and tomatoes over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, sauté onions in non-stick skillet in 2 tablespoons Canola oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add to beans and tomatoes.
- In the same skillet, sauté chicken pieces until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add to stock pot.
- Add seasonings, stir well, taste and adjusts seasonings as needed.
- Simmer chili over low heat for twenty-five minutes.
- Add peach chutney and heat an additional five minutes.
- Serve in bowls with cornbread or crackers.
Notes: You can substitute the beans and tomatoes with whatever brands are available at your local market, but I highly recommend fire roasted tomatoes for the best flavor. Add a can of diced chilies if they are not in the tomatoes you buy. You can also use a mango chutney if you prefer, they have a good one at Trader Joe's. If you can't find the Cocoa Chile Blend, substitute with two teaspoons cocoa powder. I know a lot of people like shredded cheese on their chili and if you decide you must have it, use a white cheese like Jack rather than a cheddar. I prefer this chili without cheese.
I made a big pot of this last week while my niece was visiting from South Carolina. She announced she didn't like chili, to which I thought, good — more for me. I was eating in my studio and when I emerged I discovered she not only had one bowl, she had two!
I named this chili for a dear friend from California who passed away this past summer, Randy Hoffman. Randy taught me to experiment with my chili in an "anything goes" fashion. I don't make chili anywhere near as good as Randy's, but then, no one does. Randy had at least 35 flavors of chili in his repertoire, each was cooked at least 30 hours and was defatted 4 times in the process. Randy used only the finest ingredients and the flavors included Roasted Garlic Chicken (my favorite), Santa Cruz Pork, Gunslinger, Fusion Pepper Beef, Espresso Black Bean, Veggie Amor and Demon. Demon rated a 10+ on his heat scale of 1–10. I managed a restaurant in Los Angeles and we were at the time the #1 Breakfast Spot in Los Angeles. We served Randy's chili and people not only ordered it by the bowl, they put it in their omelets, on their pancakes, on their burgers and they ordered another quart to take home.
Randy was the King of Chili and I'm not the only one who thought this. In the March 2009 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine, Chili My Soul (Randy's restaurant) was named one of the 10 Best Chili Restaurants in the United States (CMS came in #3). It was also named one of the Top 30 Restaurants in Los Angeles by the L.A. Weekly's esteemed food critic, Jonathan Gold. (Do you have any idea how many restaurants there are in Los Angeles?) In December 2008, Esquire Magazine named Chili My Soul one of the 5 Best Chili Parlors in America. I could go on and on about the accolades Randy received for his chili, but to me, Randy was my friend and he will be missed.
As I know you can all relate, Randy was my foodie friend and these days I have lots of new foodie friends who kindly share their recipes with all of us through our lovely hostess Michael over at Designs By Gollum. Be sure to stop by and click on the links. You'll not only find fabulous recipes, you'll also make new foodie friends!