I am not your typical chili eater. I don’t eat beef or pork and I don’t like ground chicken or turkey. So how, you ask, do I enjoy my chili? Well, I will tell you: I like it chock-full of beans so that it’s good and filling, and if it contains meat, I like to use boneless chicken breast. Thus, Three Bean Chicken Chili evolved out of the typical chili ingredients I do enjoy, but with a variation to adjust for my issue with ground meat (the texture and I don’t mesh). I developed this recipe using what I had on hand (I didn’t have enough cans of the same bean), which is why it is aptly named Three Bean Chicken Chili. You can use any variety of bean you enjoy. I have made this with all cannellini beans, a mix of white beans and black beans, and I have included red kidney beans on occasion. My favorite combination is black beans, butter beans (they are hard to find but they are big white beans) and black-eyed peas, but it truly tastes best with beans you like, so feel free to choose your three favorites.
What you cannot stray from are the fire-roasted tomatoes – they give the most delicious roasted flavor to the chili! You will find them where you find other canned tomato products in your market. Okay, on to the recipe!
Three Bean Chicken ChiliMakes about 12 cups (get a printable version here)
1 pound boneless, skinless, raw chicken breast
1 can (16 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (4 oz) fire-roasted green chiles
2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Set up your slow cooker with a liner so clean up is easier later on. In a medium saucepan, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic for the last 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, add the chicken as the next layer, and then add rest of the ingredients on top. Give a little mix to blend everything above the chicken. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
As always, stick a thermometer into the chicken to see if it has reached at least 165 F before eating. Using a fork, shred the chicken up a bit (it should fall apart easily) before serving. Voila! Three Bean Chicken Chili!
Some serving suggestions: I’m a fan of my chili over wild rice or steamed broccoli. My kids like it with parmesan cheese. Feel free to add a small dollop of sour cream, or if you are dairy free, try some Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds. I would love to hear how you enjoy your chili, so c’mon, spill the beans :-) (see what I did there?)