Spicy Chicken Chili

Spicy Chicken Chili

In my experience, British people are easy to impress. All you have to do is put a bowl of spicy chicken chili in front of them, and they think you’re a genius. It’s so simple.

When my husband and I first started living together, we spent the first few weeks marveling at all the things the other had never eaten before. My husband had never had a PB&J until I made one for him one afternoon when he was sick. Can you believe that? We’ve been together three years now, and we’re still discovering cultural differences. It never gets boring.

I absolutely adore the UK, but one thing they seriously lack is Mexican food. They just don’t do Latin flavors over there. I think their only spice is curry powder. It’s been wonderful introducing my husband to the world of cayenne, jalapeno, and habanero. He’s a huge fan now.

Spicy Chicken Chili

His favorite dish is spicy chicken chili. He requests it all the time. I’ve also made it for his parents, and then for our best man and his fiance, all UK residents. Everybody asked me for the recipe. I’m spreading the chili love around the world.

This chili is full of goodness and spice, along with plenty of chicken, green chiles, and cannellini beans. I like to crunch up tortilla chips in the bottom of my bowl, then top it off with a fistful of cheese, and a cooling dollop of sour cream. My husband adds extra habanero sauce because he’s a mad man.

Next time you have guests, particularly of the British persuasion, make sure to blow them away with this simple, delicious, hearty dish. They’ll be begging for more.

Spicy Chicken Chili close

Spicy Chicken Chili
Serves 4
A hearty hot chili perfect for a crowd
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Tbsp butter
  2. 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks,
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 1/2 onion, diced
  5. 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  6. 2 cups chicken stock
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 Tbsp chili powder
  9. 1 tsp ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp ground cumin
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. 15 grinds black pepper (1/2 Tbsp)
  13. 1/2 Tbsp salt
  14. 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
  15. 1 7 oz can green chiles
  16. sour cream to garnish
  17. shredded cheese to garnish
  18. tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. After you’ve cut up your chicken, don’t forget to season it a bit with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Sprinkle it in and give it a toss.
  2. In a large pot, melt your butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides and just cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to hang out while you get on with it.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir it with the melted butter to make a roux, or thick paste. Sometimes the chicken gives off a lot of liquid when cooking, so you may need to add a bit more flour. If you don’t make it pasty, the sauce won’t thicken later. Cook for about one minute.
  5. Stir in the onion and pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add in about half of your chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Scrape up any bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, then add the rest of the chicken stock.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream. Allow the mixture to come back to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes to thicken.
  8. Add your spices and seasonings and make sure they’re incorporated. Don’t leave any clumps of cumin behind.
  9. Next, stir in the beans and green chiles.
  10. Add your chicken back in, give everything a good mix, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  11. I like to crush some chips into the bottom of the bowl, then spoon over the chili, and top it with some sour cream and cheese. Get creative.
Adapted from Aaron McCargo Jr.
Adapted from Aaron McCargo Jr.
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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Gel Nails

Backyard Awesome Sauce

Backyard Awesome Sauce

You have all those herbs growing in your backyard, so now what are you going to do with them? Why make an awesome sauce, of course. In fact, let’s go ahead and just call this one Backyard Awesome Sauce.

I’ll tell you how I made mine, but please just take it as an inspiration. I got my idea from the divine Nigella and her salmoriglio sauce from Kitchen. Basically, all you need is garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and extra virgin olive oil. Have fun with the herb combo, but most importantly, use what’s fresh and hopefully growing at your house. I used Italian parsley, oregano, and basil.

Fresh Herb Sauce

And once you’ve made it, the possibilities are endless. You can throw it on a sandwich, drizzle it over grilled meat, toss it with some pasta and Parmesan cheese, or just dip some nice crusty bread in it. I mean, you can basically stick this stuff anywhere.

The flavor is fresh and vibrant. It just tastes like green. I like to pretend I’m fancy and French and involve some baguette action, along with some charcuterie (a fancy word for salami) and some difficult to pronounce cheese  Throw in a glass of white wine and some Carla Bruni, and I might as well dust off the black beret I used to wear in high school. No joke. That really happened.

You can throw this together in about ten minutes then mix and match it for days of tastiness. How awesome is that?

Backyard Awesome Sauce with Fresh Herbs

Backyard Awesome Sauce
Yields 1
A quick and fresh sauce made with herbs from your own backyard
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  2. 1 tsp coarse salt
  3. 30 grams fresh herbs (I used ten each of oregano, basil, and Italian parsley)
  4. 4 Tbsp lemon juice (don’t skimp, it really brightens the flavor)
  5. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put the garlic, salt, herbs, and lemon juice into your food processor and switch it on for about 20 seconds, or until everything is nice and pasty. You may need to scrape down the sides and give it a few more pulses.
  2. With the processor running, drizzle in your extra virgin olive oil. Process until it emulsifies, aka, turns into sauce.
  3. Drizzle over just about anything savoury that you’d like to make herby and delightful.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

Grow Your Own Awesomeness

Lilikoi flower

Today we are going to be focusing all of our awesomeness on our back-gardens. Have you ever walked into a grocery store, wandered around in the ‘fresh herbs’ section then run out of the store crying because you are poor? No? Well neither have we…*coughs*…but just to make sure that nobody else has to endure this horrible ordeal, please keep reading.

One thing that living on $20 a day has shown us, is to always keep our eyes open for things that will save us money. Wandering round our local home-improvement store one day (as you do, right?), I was struck by an epiphany…Potted herbs are actually cheaper than ‘fresh’ herbs at the supermarket. Literally, a living, breathing, green onion plant was a few cents cheaper than ‘fresh’ herbs at the supermarket! “Aha”, you may gasp, “now I can buy all of my herbs at the hardware store!”. But wait, there’s more! You know if you plant that stuff in the garden, there’s a good chance it will grow right?! So for a few cents LESS than buying some ‘fresh’ herbs ONCE, you can now eat those herbs whenever you want in the future, for FREE!

Habenero Pepper (top), Lilikoi (middle), Thai Basil (bottom)
Habenero Pepper (top), Lilikoi (middle), Thai Basil (bottom)

This doesn’t just apply to herbs, all fruits and vegetables are fair game!

Now, I’m not claiming to be a green-fingered demi-god in the garden, I just plant stuff in the garden wherever I have space and it usually grows! If it dies, so what, you haven’t really lost anything that you weren’t going to spend anyway!

We might have a bit of an advantage, though, due to our location…pretty much anything will grow in the tropics (apart from strawberries it seems)! Right now in the garden we have habenero peppers, lilikoi (passion fruit), Thai basil, rosemary, oregano, parsley, lavender, aloe, green onions, thyme and ginger (although the last one is technically a weed).

Even if you live in Alaska, you can still grow things indoors, in a window-box in the kitchen, a plant pot in the bathroom, an old shoe…anywhere! Besides being awesome, it’ll also make your house smell good (you remember how awesome your house smells when you have a Christmas tree, right?). There’s no excuse for spending a fortune on supermarket herbs, you just need to remember to water.

Anti-chicken warfare
Anti-chicken warfare

“But wait!”, I hear you scream, “Don’t you have chicken-saurus-rexes who will eat everything in your garden?”. Good point. I concede that having chickens and herbs co-existing in the garden does pose a bit of a conundrum. Never fear though, chicken lovers can have their herb-cake and eat it, with a little hard-work.

Introducing the anti-chicken herb-box. Using patented anti-chicken material (also known as chicken wire) you are able to successfully avoid herb-rage!

All you need to do is take a plank of wood, cut it into four pieces, screw, nail or glue it together, and cover it with chicken wire! Voila! The chickens will no longer be able to eat your precious greenery! Note that for my version, I actually included a lid that gives you easier access to the herbs inside.

The finished product - note the confused chickens...
The finished product – note the confused chickens…

All this took was to take another long bit of wood (in this case 1″ x 2″ x 10′) and cut the pieces the same size as the pieces that you cut from the plank. Screw, nail or glue them together and connect the lid to the bottom with a hinge. Easy peasy! You can also use the same patented anti-chicken material to build a mini fence around important plants (like my precious Habeneros). At the same time you are simultaneously saving money, time, and the environment. If you aren’t growing your own food, you aren’t being awesome enough!

Grow a pair, and grow a pear!

Peace. G.

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