Clean the Cupboards Chicken Chili

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Okay, so honestly, I did go to the store and buy all the cans of food I used in my chili, but I spent less money on this meal that will stretch throughout the week than I would have trying to cook meals throughout the week, and my goal was to use as many foods already in my cupboards as possible.  I don’t like that so many of the ingredients were out of a can, especially the tomatoes, but I am rather sick right now, and expending the energy to actually cook the chili from scratch was beyond my grasp last night.  Not to mention that because I didn’t start it earlier in the day, and didn’t use the slow cooker, I needed pre-cooked ingredients to get the chili going in less than 5 hours.

This meal is kind of ironic, because in the states, I never really cooked with beans, but when I got to Korea, and found out they were difficult to get, I actually started craving them.  The first care package from my mom had beans in it, and it actually got caught up in agricultural customs through Fedex or UPS for almost a week because of the beans.

When my local E-mart started carrying beans, and even better black beans in cans, I was so excited!  I have learned to use them pretty well since.  I make killer non re-fried beans, and some pretty good chili!  So last night I was pretty confident I could make a huge pot of chili.  We are a bit strapped for cash at the moment because we have to pay for my husband’s plane ticket home in March, so we need  a few cheaper meals that can stretch throughout the week.  This is the first one, and I am going to use it to make the second one later today.

3 cans of S&W Stewed diced tomatoes with Jalapenos

1 can diced reduced sodium Stewed tomatoes

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos

3 cans of beans, various kinds (I used one can of black beans, one can of kidney beans, and one can of Pinto “Chili” Beans

1 Korean red pepper

1/2 cup of sharp cheddar

a dollop of sour cream (optional but good…I didn’t have any 😦 )

1  can of corn

1 can of tomato paste

2 onions

1-2 tablespoons of pulverized garlic.

4 small chicken breasts

Put all the cans of tomatoes into the pot.  Rinse the black and kidney beans, and add them to the pot.  I put the whole can of “chili” beans into the pot cause they were flavored and I wanted a little starch to help thicken the chili.  I basically put in all of the ingredients into the pot, and let it cook for an hour.  I put four chicken breasts in the pot, and let them cook with the chili, and close to the end, I pulled them out and chopped them up.  I sliced the Korean pepper in half length wise, and took out the seeds.  I pulled it out before serving though.

While the chili was cooking, I baked some jalapeno cheddar corn bread according to the recipe at grouprecipes.com.  I followed the recipe exactly except for a few things…I made my own buttermilk by juicing a lemon, and using a tablespoon of the juice in a cup.  Then I filled the rest of the cup with milk.  I let it sit five minutes, and then used it in the recipe.  Also, I ground up my corn in a spice grinder, and used a little more corn than the recipe suggested.  Then I mixed it by hand with the other wet ingredients.  Other than that I followed the recipe.  It turned out good for the most part, and I have to admit, it tasted better the next day.  However, I used a pan that was a bit small and it was difficult to get the middle done.

Once the bread was done, I served up the chili, and bread together.  I sprinkled some sharp cheddar over the top, and if you have sour cream, that would be good too.  I didn’t need any chili powder, or any other seasonings to make it work…It had some spice, and because of so much tomato paste, it was very thick and hearty

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