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1.10.14 Smoky Chicken and Black Bean Chili

1.10.14 Smoky Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Well, the weather may have warmed up a bit from the frigid temps we were experiencing earlier this week. But it’s still winter. Luckily for me, I get to spend the weekend embracing winter with some downhill skiing in the U.P. And so far, the weather is looking good. A little snow, which is always welcome when skiing is involved. And the temps are predicted to be a balmy 27 degrees, which sounds heavenly after the subzero temperatures we had earlier this week.


And there are few things nicer after a long day of skiing than coming back inside to a big warm pot of chili. Especially when said chili has been cooking away for awhile and has made the whole house smell amazing. For me, a hot bowl of chili, a cold beer, and if I’m really lucky, a nice long stint in a sauna that’s way too hot is the perfect way to end a day of skiing. It really doesn’t get much better. Plus, after all of that, you will sleep like a baby. Perfection.


Now there are about a million different ways to make chili. I myself have made more different kinds than I can count. This time around, however, I wanted to try something a little different than any of my past creations. And what I ended up with was this version filled with spicy shredded chicken, black beans, tomatoes and a nice smoky hit of chipotle peppers. And I have to say, it’s pretty amazing. Not to mention, it goes great with a creamy topping of avocados and greek yogurt, some bright cilantro, and a splash of hot sauce. The best part is, it’s a cinch to make. Just throw the ingredients together and set your stove for some serious simmering. Which leaves you plenty of time to get some skiing in. Or whatever it is you like to do on a nice winter weekend. Now excuse me, I must be off - the sauna awaits.


Smoky Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breasts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • chopped avocado, cilantro, greek yogurt or sour cream, and hot sauce for serving


1. Place the chicken breasts in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the garlic, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, chipotle, salt, oregano, cayenne, and water. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

2. Remove chicken breasts from pot and shred, using 2 forks. Return shredded chicken to liquid in pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Add the beans, tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 20-30 minutes, until chili thickens slightly. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with cilantro, avocado, greek yogurt or sour cream, and a dash of hot sauce if desired.

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