A summer storm caused me to abandon the outdoor grill for a change and reunite with my stove. It was also the kind of weather that called for this Tequila Chicken Chili. And to make it even more attractive, I was able to pick peppers, both hot and sweet, from my garden to use together in this dish.
I enjoy being creative when making a pot of chili, and have sometimes used beer, and even coffee or tea. This time I wanted to compliment my chile peppers with a Mexican twist, so tequila went into this tequila chicken chili pot. Lime juice and cilantro rounded out the Mexican inspiration.
Chipotle chili pepper with its adobo sauce gives the tequila chicken chili a wonderful smoky spiciness. I love having this versatile staple in my pantry. Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapeno. Adobo sauce is a combination of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar that the peppers are preserved in. The adobo sauce is wonderful for adding to barbecue sauces, tacos, on burgers, pizza and tons of other dishes. You can store the unused portion of the can in a covered container in the fridge for a couple of weeks to use in other recipes.
OK, so yeah, we like a lot of spice at my house. Don't let the spice level in this recipe scare you, though, if you prefer less heat. It's very easy to dial it down.Try scraping out the seeds before mincing, and / or reduce the number of chipotle peppers. You can also leave out the chipotle peppers and just use the adobo sauce for a much more subtle heat. I couldn't resist using one of my home grown cayenne peppers as well, although I did remove the seeds and pulp. You can leave that out, if you prefer, too.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb lean ground chicken
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tsp dried cumin
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.
- 1 796 ml can diced tomatoes and their juice
- 1 540 ml can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 540 ml can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 3 chipotle peppers, minced, plus 1 tbsp adobo sauce
- 1 cayenne pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- Over medium high heat, heat oil.
- Add ground chicken and cook, breaking up with a spoon until browned and no longer pink, about five minutes.
- Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about three minutes.
- Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, cooking and stirring for about a minute.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the cilantro.
- Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about an hour.
- Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve in bowls with cilantro and lime wedges to top off.