Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spicy Chicken Chili

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The gravity seems to be increasing lately on my downward spiral of self-loathing. I’ve been quietly beating myself up over my job, my appearance, my weight, my blog, my Instagram game, just about everything. I’m horrible for comparing myself to others, but that’s sort of how I ended up here in the first place. Frustrated by looking at the seemingly perfect lives of comfortably middle class women who seem to have it all figured out, I decided to create my own space for people who are always broke and a bit of a hot mess. I still can’t seem to look away from their perfectly manicured lives. Even their vulnerability seems to be more perfect and beautiful than mine.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I guess I need to thank you for going on this journey with me. Chances are, you’re not here for the journey. You’ve skipped over all this self-exploration and gone straight to the food. If you’re digging into this mess, though, let’s hug it out and comfort ourselves with something delicious while we dig deep to remember our own self-worth.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made you everyone’s favorite, Spicy Chicken Chili. I make this for guests all the time, and they all want to go home and make it again fr themselves. In fact, I’ve made this dish for this blog before. Maybe I’ve gotten better at this whole food photography thing in the past five years? Still a long way to go.

Any dang ways, if you’re at all fond of the smoky, spicy flavors of chili, you absolutely must try this recipe. It’s hearty and packed with layers of flavor and textures. You can pretend like it’s healthy because of the chicken, but there’s also a healthy dose of cream in this pot of goodness, so I’m not sure it’s diet friendly. I super don’t care. Spicy Chicken Chili is worth every calorie. It’s ridiculous.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Maybe you’re having a hard time finding the awesomeness in your life today. It’s out there somewhere. Spicy Chicken Chili will definitely bring the awesome to you and everyone who eats it.

Spicy Chicken Chili
Serves 4
Everyone knows that Spicy Chicken Chili is completely awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 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 or it starts to smell nutty.
  5. Stir in the onion and pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes to soften.
  6. Add in about half of your chicken stock slowly, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Stir out any lumps before adding in the next batch of 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 before serving.
  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. Make it awesome.
Notes
  1. If you live in a place where you can't easily buy canned green chilis (such as Scotland) just throw in a couple of extra fresh green or red chilis, diced, with your onion and bell pepper.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Enchilada Queso

Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m trying this thing where I come home from work and just do whatever I want. Today, that involved finishing off the bottle of Bailey’s, microwaving a tortilla with some cheese and stuffing it in my face, then plopping on the couch to watch old episodes of Big Bang Theory and completely space out. I let my husband order takeaway, and I’m thinking that I might not move.

I guess I’m not 100% successful since I didn’t really want to d any work and yet here I am typing away. I guess I just can’t keep away from my to do list. But I’ve just decided that after I finish writing, I’m going to go put on my pajamas, which will elevate this evening to near perfection.

Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The other day when I was feeling more productive, I made you Enchilada Queso. This is a simple twist on a classic cheese dip involving nothing more complex than adding some store bought stuff t a simple cheese sauce, then scooping it out with tortilla chips until your body can’t take anymore. The enchilada sauce adds a sweet smokiness to the queso that I just love.

We’re sticking to our theme of laziness by combining pre-shredded cheese to a can of evaporated milk along with some corn starch to thicken it. A close of garlic and a green onion add flavor. I buy a jar of enchilada sauce from my grocery store that comes with a packet of seasoning attached to the top, but if you can’t get a sauce/seasoning mash up, you can use a packet of your favorite taco seasoning instead. So so easy.

Enchilada Queso | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My chips cheese and gravy should be here any minute. Enjoy your Enchilada Queso and laziness, my friends. I plan to enjoy mine.

Enchilada Queso
Serves 6
Enchilada Queso is your favorite cheese dip with a smoky twist.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 225 grams shredded cheese such as cheddar, Monterrey Jack or colby
  2. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  3. 1/2 tablespoon butter
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 green onion, chopped
  6. 1 can evaporated milk
  7. 1 package enchilada or taco seasoning
  8. 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  9. Chips for dipping
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, toss together your cheese and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt your butter then add the minced garlic and chopped green onion. Stir and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
  3. Add your evaporated milk to the pan, then stir in the cheese mixture. Add your seasoning, and stir the mixture occasionally until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in the enchilada sauce, adding a little more or less until it reaches the consistency of your dreams.
  5. Serve warm. This dip is best eaten the first time around, but if you want to reheat it, stir it frequently and add in some extra enchilada sauce or milk if you need to thin it out.
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
http://awesomeon20.com/
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully you’ve figured out by now that this is not the place to go for light and healthy, trendy super foods. This is not the place to go for your five a day or tips on how to get six pack abs. This is not the place for quinoa, chia seeds, or kale or whatever health food is currently trending. Most of the food you’ll find here might not even look that good on Instagram. Believe me, there are plenty of food blogs out there where you can get all those things. This is not that.

What you will find here is food that tastes really really good. Food that’s indulgent and easy to make. Food that’s so good you’ll want to dance and sing. I guess you could say I’m teaching you self-discipline because this is food you won’t want to stop eating but maybe should. All things in moderation, including Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. I know my point of view, and I’m sticking with it.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese recipe has three different kinds of cheese, plenty of Transformer Chicken, and enough buffalo sauce to make your nose run. It’s not outrageously spicy, but there is a noticeable level of heat. Get into it.

This recipe is a bit involved and will dirty quite a few dishes. Nothing is difficult, but there are a few separate elements that all have to come together. It’s absolutely delicious, though, and makes enough to feed six very hungry people, so it’s undoubtedly worth it. My husband said this was the best macaroni and cheese he’s ever had, and I make a lot of mac and cheese.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s a good thing to know yourself and be content. Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese makes me happy, and I hope it makes you happy, too.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Serves 6
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is an indulgent dish with a serious kick.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2.5 ounces unsalted butter, divided
  2. 1 pound elbow macaroni
  3. 2 shallots, minced
  4. 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 3/4 cups buffalo sauce
  7. 2 tablespoons flour
  8. 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  9. 2-1/2 cups half and half
  10. 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
  11. 8 ounces pepper jack cheese or cheddar with chillies, cubed or shredded
  12. 2/3 cup sour cream
  13. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  14. 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  15. 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and spray a large casserole dish or 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add some salt, then cook your macaroni until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, melt 1.5 ounces of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your shallot and cook for a few minutes until it softens. Next, add your chicken and garlic and let it cook for a couple more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add 1/2 cup of the buffalo sauce. Stir this all together and bring it to a simmer for a minute or so to thicken the sauce slightly. Turn off the heat and set this aside while you get on with your cheese sauce.
  4. Melt 1 ounce of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Slowly whisk in the half and half, about a half cup at a time, whisking until smooth before you add the next addition. Once you've created a smooth creamy sauce, you can then stir in your remaining half cup buffalo sauce. Once your mixture is bubbling gently, add the cheddar, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream, and stir until the cheese is melted and your sauce is smooth.
  5. Now it's time to toss together all the parts. If your sauce pan is big enough, you can add your pasta and chicken straight into that, but it may need to all go into the pasta pot to give you enough space to stir it all together. Once your mixture is properly combined, transfer the whole lot to your waiting casserole dish.
  6. Scatter the top of the casserole with your panko breadcrumbs, then dot the whole thing with blue cheese all over the top. Finally, sprinkle the parsley over everything.
  7. Bake this mass of cheesy goodness for 30-40 minutes until as brown and bubbly as you desire.
  8. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool before you try to eat this. It's best served straight away, but it's still pretty awesome reheated, though your cheese may become a bit oily.
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
http://awesomeon20.com/
Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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