Chicken Quinoa Chili

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Chicken Quinoa Chili Recipe

Time: 1 hour 25 min        Serves: 8-10 people

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

olive oil

1 large sweet onion

5 cloves of garlic

1 red bell pepper, 2 jalapeño peppers

2 stalks of celery

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons of chili powder

1 teaspoon of cumin

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of garlic powder or garlic salt

2  12 oz cans of crushed tomatoes

1  14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1  15 oz can of northern white beans and 1  15 oz can of red kidney beans

1 bag of tricolor quinoa (or any other quinoa variation)

2 cups of chicken broth

Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, chopped bacon bits, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

1)  Prepare raw chicken breasts by patting dry with paper towels and placing them on a baking sheet in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Turn the chicken breasts over when there’s about 5 minutes remaining.  Once the chicken is finished cooking, shred with a fork into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

2)  While the chicken is cooking, prepare the chili pot.  Start by finely dicing the onion and sautéing it on medium heat in a tablespoon or two of olive oil.  Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and stir it occasionally for about 8 minutes.  Dice the red bell pepper, jalapeños, and celery, chop the scallions, and lay the bacon out on a foil-lined pan in preparation.

3)  Mince the garlic and stir it into the onion, cooking for about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add olive oil to the pan if it starts to look dry at any point so the onion and garlic don’t burn.  Stir in the chopped red pepper, jalapeños, and celery and sauté for about another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4)  Add the spices: 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin,  a pinch of cinnamon, and a sprinkling of salt, garlic salt, and black pepper.

5)  Add the chicken and stir to evenly mix the spices, and then move to a stock pot.  Add the crushed and diced tomatoes and both cans of beans.  Stir the chili and watch for it to start to bubble and boil.  Turn the stove down to low heat, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.

6)  In the meantime, put the bacon in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Flip it when there’s 2 minutes left.  When the bacon is crispy, pull it out of the oven and pat with paper towels to absorb the excess grease, and then chop into bacon bits for garnishing.

Rinse 1 cup of tricolor quinoa in a strainer and then add it to a small pot with 2 cups of chicken broth.  Put the pot on high heat and when it boils, cover it with a lid and turn the heat down to low.  Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes and then remove from heat to cool for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

After the chili has simmered and everything else is prepared, the dish is ready to be served.  Spoon out a serving of quinoa, smother it with  the chicken chili, and finally, add cheddar cheese, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, the chopped scallions and bacon, and enjoy!

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I was inspired by the delicious chicken quinoa chili that I’m addicted to at Protein Bar, so I decided to try and mimic their recipe.  I found a Chicken Chili Recipe online and adapted it to make it my own.  The meal is so warm and satisfying – and healthy, with the quinoa – on a cold winter’s night, it’s absolutely perfect.  It’s great to make for friends, and it makes such a big pot of chili – leftovers for DAYS.  I plan to eat it all week long.

Stay warm and eat chili!

Chelsea

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