You know those times where stuff just works?
This is one of those times. I did not really know where I was headed when I started making this chili other than that I had a vision of something semi-spicy that could compliment that bag of blue corn + flax tortilla chips burning a hole in my cupboard. Just another example of the finer things that inspire greatness for me.
By the way, blue corn + flax tortilla chips? I think you want these. I’m putting a link –> right here. You can’t buy them online, but you can go find them at a Target and then be forced into making this healthy jalapeño sweet potato chicken chili as a BFF for your chippers.
And just FYI. If you think you don’t want these, you should know that non-flax-eater Bjork had no idea what “those little crunchy things” were that made the chips taste so good and gobbled them down like a true flax loving health nut. Except in a tortilla chip health nut sort of way. So you want these. End of story.
To make this chili, you’re going to have to let it simmer for a while. Like 45 minutes or more – enough time to do something like get outside and go for a run, which by some miracle I did. And if you can simmer it in what appears to be a miniature camping pot, all the better.
*sometimes I don’t even know*
I don’t have step by step photos for this – after the light falling into the palak paneer episode, I’m waiting until we get a house that has kitchen windows to continue with those, and speaking of houses, we find out TODAY about the most recent offer that we put in! eeeee! – but I do need to tell you a few things about the step by step process. Let’s have a Q&A.
I don’t like spicy things. Should I leave out the jalapeño?
Maybe just take out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño – that’s what makes it spicy. I used one biiig jalapeno pepper and I left the seeds and ribs in when I chopped it up. It was The Perfect amount of spicy for us. Kind of like a light medium spicy, if we’re getting that specific. I had actually planned to put a chipotle pepepr in this as well, but the flavor of the jalapeño just sang to me and I didn’t feel like it needed anything else.
What’s the broth or base in this soup?
Well, good question. In my mind it was going to be tomato sauce. But then I found that, in fact, I did not have any tomato sauce.
That’s when the unexpected magic happened: instead of tomato sauce, I added a few cups of water and gave it all a stir. Oh, hey. Perfection. A few of the softer sweet potatoes sort of melted into the liquid, and some of the flavor seeped out of the other ingredients, creating this yummy + spicy sweet potato creaminess as the base of the soup.
Then I added some flaxmeal, to bring things full circle (remember the chips?) and to help keep it thick and give it a nice warm nutty flavor. I loved it.
What kind of pot should I use to keep the soup from sticking?
Not the miniature camping pot pictured above, because when you cover it and let it simmer for 45 minutes, it’s going to end up getting stuck and burnt and crusted all over the bottom. Hello nightmare.
I used a large nonstick braiser that I just got from a company called Swiss Diamond. It worked perfectly. And if I wouldn’t have had that new braiser, I would have used my nonstick soup pot. Pleaze friendz. Use nonstick for this one! Or watch carefully, stir periodically, and add water as it simmers.
Can I add ______ ?
Yes! Yet another reason I love chili. Anything you want, like roasted corn, more or less beans beans, bell peppers, different meat, avocado slices on top, sour cream, cilantro, Cotija cheese, any cheese, more cheese, etc. Add it.
It’s September, it’s a little chilly, and the chili is a-cookin on the stove. And so begins my favorite eating season of the year. ♥
- 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
- 2 14 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, drained
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxmeal
- cilantro and Cotija cheese for topping
- [b]Poach the chicken:[/b] Bring the chicken broth to a rolling boil and add the raw chicken breasts. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken continue to cook in the broth for another 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, let cool, and shred with two forks. Reserve 2 cups of broth. Keep chicken in the fridge until ready to use (I did this a day in advance and just stored my chicken and broth together in the fridge).
- [b]Saute the veggies:[/b] Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and saute until tender. Add the chili powder, salt, and sweet potatoes. Saute until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned.
- [b]Let it cook:[/b] Add the fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, shredded chicken and reserved broth. Stir and cover with a tight fitting lid. Keep over medium heat for 45 minutes without stirring (see notes).
- [b]Make it saucy:[/b] After 45 minutes, uncover and you’ll see a bunch of chicken and veggies with hardly any liquid. Perfect. Add 2 cups of water (or less, as needed) and stir to combine. Add the flax and stir again – this helps it thicken up and gives it a warm, nutty flavor.
- [b]Eat:[/b] Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with cilantro and Cotija cheese.