One of the blogs that I follow on a daily basis is Life As Mom. This week she has been focusing on food that can been made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. This inspired me to share one of my favorite cold-weather meals. I use the crock pot for this recipe but it can be thrown together quickly on the stove too. It also freezes perfectly. I usually make this the day after I have roasted a whole chicken. The seasoning in the leftover meat really adds to the flavor, and I prefer shredded chicken to cubed. It's just a texture thing. This is very hearty and stew-like. I usually add a salad and some bread for a wonderful meal.
Black Bean Chicken Chili
1 T. oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chicken broth
2 15 oz cans black beans (rinsed)
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (I like chili-style)
1 lb shredded chicken
2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. red pepper (or more to taste)
Chili powder (I never measure this, but I use a lot. Adjust to your taste.)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
Saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in oil until onion is translucent. Place in crock pot. Add tomatoes, beans, chicken, broth and seasonings. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add fresh cilantro just before serving. Shredded cheese may be added when serving as well.
All this really needs is to get hot, thus the crock pot is not necessary. I love the way the flavors meld after cooking slowly through the day. The meat just gets more tender this way. If you like your chili, soups and stews thicker, just take the lid off of the crock for the last hour or two. It will thicken nicely.