Chicken Chili with Chipotle and Poblano Chiles

This is my favorite chicken chili, although I have struggled in the past with the spiciness level for guests. I worry it will be too spicy‚Ķ.such a stress!! ūüôā I think that I finally got it just right this time. It has a perfect balance of spiciness complemented by the toppings and added rice.

It is fun to serve chili to guests with multiple topping choices. This chili is wonderful topped with any combination of diced red onions, sour cream, grated Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, and fresh cilantro. We also had rice, tortilla chips, and corn bread on the side.

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. Perfect on a cold day.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 

  • 2 poblano¬†chiles
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 chipotle¬†chile¬†in adobo sauce, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 medium¬†garlic¬†cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano or oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried epazote or 3T fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle¬†chile powder
  • 3 fifteen-ounce cans¬†kidney beans, drained
  • 1 fifteen-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated Monterey Jack¬†cheese, for serving (optional)
  • diced red onion, for serving (optional)
  • fresh cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • sliced or diced¬†avocado, for serving (optional)
  • tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
  • rice, for serving, if desired (I served¬†brown Basmati rice)
  • cornbread, for serving, if desired

  1. Heat broiler. Toast poblano chiles until fragrant and beginning to blacken. Remove, cover to steam, and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel, stem and remove ribs from toasted poblanos.
  3. Toast cumin seeds in a skillet, shaking skillet constantly, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder, and grind until fine. Set aside.
  4. Tear cleaned poblano chiles into pieces, and place in the jar of a blender. Add chicken stock and stemmed chipotle in adobo sauce. Puree, and set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add chicken, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the exterior turns white, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add reserved ground cumin, oregano, epazote (or cilantro), and ground chipotle chile powder; cook 5 minutes more.
  8. Stir in the stock mixture, beans, and tomatoes.
  9. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until flavors have married and liquid is thickened and reduced, about 40 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately over rice and/or with corn bread, as desired. Pass cheese, onion, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and tortilla strips on the side as optional toppings.

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