July 25, 2008

Healthy Meal: Chicken Chili

This recipe was given to me a few years ago, when I was in college and went over to my friend Tyler’s house for a party. Tyler was a pretty good cook, and had made a whole pot of this chili for us to eat as we drank copious amounts of beer and played Kings. That particular house had a specific rule that if you drew one of the cards (I can’t remember which one now), you were doomed to be the Boxhead – which meant you had a beer case put on your head until the next person drew that card and relieved you of the duty. Unfortunately, I drew the Boxhead card all four times, and so couldn’t eat as much chili as everyone else because of the box. I did still manage to drink a lot of Keystone, though…

Reaction years later: I let Keystone cross my lips??? What was wrong with me back then?!

But that night of Kings inspired me to go out and get a crockpot, and I started making Tyler’s chili recipe all the time at my own apartment. I would toss all the ingredients in before heading out for the night, and it was amazing to arrive home and have a fragrant pot of bubbling chili awaiting my roommates and me. I think it was pretty rare for the crockpot of chili to have anything left in the morning – this stuff is fantastic!

Anyway, this recipe is good whether you’ve been out celebrating or are stone-cold sober (but I will add that if you’re a partying college student it totally satisfies any late-night food cravings while still being really healthy).


In a crockpot, combine:
10.5 oz pink beans
10.5 oz kidney beans
10.5 oz black beans
15.5 oz cannellini beans
12 oz chicken breast, diced
1 or 2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped bell peppers (I use a frozen blend)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (I think this is safe from salmonella because it’s cooked)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp oregano
Stir, cover, and cook for 3-5 hours on high. The more you cook it, the mushier it will get and messier it will look, but the flavors meld together more – I cooked the batch above for about 4 hours. When there is about an hour or so to go, you may want to remove the lid to allow any extra liquid to boil away – a lot of this well depend whether you use fresh or frozen veggies. Then grab a spoon and dig in!

Nutrition facts:
260 calories per one cup serving (the serving in the picture above is 1.5 cups, and has made me feel absolutely stuffed)

Rating: 5 stars
This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. It’s one of the first things I ever learned how to cook, and it’s totally delicious as well as healthy. Tons of protein, very little fat, and deliciously spicy. To be fair, it’s not a typical chili with lots of ground meat and just a few beans, but it’s still pretty amazing. Because it’s just protein and veggies, it’s basically a complete meal in itself.


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