Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe: Michelle's Chicken, Black Bean & Corn Chili

Chili is one of those foods that people get passionate about. The definition of what chili is depends on wear you live and what you're used to. Chili comes in many varieties made with an ever-growing list of ingredients. There are chili purists and chili revolutionaries. I've seen recipes calling for all manner of unorthodox ingredients including one that requires coffee, beer and wasabi. In our home we tend to fall on the purist half of the chili spectrum. For me, something that is changed too much, reaches a point of departure from the essence of what it was, and becomes something entirely different altogether (did you get all that?). I'm sure a "chili" made with coffee, beer and wasabi might be a damn fine thing, but is it still chili? Not to me. I'm fine with different meats, beans and corn (which would bother a real chili purist), but when it comes to coffee, wasabi or something like potatoes? That's just not chili to me. THERE ARE NO POTATOES IN CHILI!

The recipe below is about as far as we go with a chili recipe in my home. Mrs. COBW came up with this recipe as a healthier alternative to a red meat chili. It has since become one of my personal favorites and is ensconced in our homes heavy rotation dinner list. It is hearty, chunky, flavorful and delicious. Coupled with her cornbread it spells COMFORT FOOD to me. This recipe is enhanced with the use of Bufalo Brand Chipotle Sauce (our house hot sauce) and I additionally turn up the heat in my bowl with a good dollop of Dr. Gonzo's Jalapenomash.

Mrs. COBW hopes you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Please don't add coffee, wasabi or potatoes to it, but if you do, call it something else because it is not chili!

Michelle's Chicken, Black Bean & Corn Chili

1 Tbs vegetable oil
1-2 lbs. boneless chicken breast (lightly pounded and cut in 1" cubes)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chipotle hot sauce* (Add more if you like it spicier)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic and onion; cook and stir 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Place a small nonstick skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and garlic powder; toast 30 seconds or until aromatic, stirring constantly do not burn (This part is a must do! Be sure to toast the spices). Stir this into the chicken mixture so that it coats all the pieces well.

Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer at least 30 minutes.

If you find it is not as thick as you like it add some tomato paste to thicken, add small amounts at a time until desired thickness is achieved.

Place in bowls topped with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Serve with corn bread or corn muffins**.

*We use Bufalo Brand Chipotle Salsa which you can purchase inexpensively from our friends at

**Tip add 1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour creme to cornbread mix to make it nice and moist!


  1. That looks amazing! I love the combo of chicken and black beans.
    Great food photos

  2. Thanks Halley, it is one of my favorites that my wife is currently making!

  3. "Please don't add coffee, wasabi or potatoes to it, but if you do, call it something else because it is not chili!" You chili snob! Chili (or chilli as we Brits call it) is what you make of it. I agree, coffee or wasabi is off the ingredients list - but I love potato in my chili. Nyuk Nyuk! ;•}