So, yesterday, I whipped up a roasted tomatillo and chicken chili made as a light, healthy alternative to the standard turkey and black bean favorite. I’m not sure when ground turkey made the scene in the world of chili, but it was quickly welcomed and became a fixture in the North American palate. I think it was around the early 90’s.
Chili is, to so many, hearty comfort food that can be enjoyed in different ways; a side dish, a complete meal, a snack and at any time of year. Not many dishes can fill all those checkboxes. There isn’t a type of chili I won’t tip my spoon to; vegan to all-out meat lover’s style, and the hotter, the better.
I am comfortably into using turkey or chicken for this recipe. If you have a sensitivity to kidney beans, no worries, we can use black beans. With that, turkey and black bean chili are still most welcome at our table.
As I have recently found a good source of lean ground chicken at my local store, chicken chili is a mainstay in our revolving repertoire. A few days ago, I found in the produce section my old long-lost pal, the tomatillo. I then thought of whipping up a batch of tomatillo chicken chili and promptly scurried off to grab a couple of tins of navy beans. So here we go… A roasted tomatillo and chicken chili with white beans.
Tasty and Easy Tomatillo Chicken Chili
FOR THE ROASTED TOMATILLOS:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
TO BUILD THE CHILI:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground chicken (minced chicken) - turkey would work just as well
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 whole white onion - diced
- 2 stalks celery - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (chilli powder in British English)
- 2 cups water - or stock if using stock chicken or vegetable stock would work best
- ¼ cup cilantro (coriander) - for garnish; purely optional
Roasting The Tomatillos:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Peel and discard the papery skins from the tomatillos. Then wash in warm salted water; drain thoroughly.
- Cut the tomatillos in half and put in a mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients for roasted tomatillos. Toss until they are all coated.
- Place on a lined sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes or until the tops take on a golden brown color.
- Once roasted, allow it to cool enough to be handled safely. Puree and set aside.
Building The Chili:
- Heat up the soup pot to medium-high; add the oil, salt and pepper.
- Once the salt and pepper begin to release their aromas, add the ground chicken. Stir until fully cooked and any water released is cooked away.
- Add the lime juice and stir to deglaze the chicken from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the onion, celery, garlic and pepper mince; stir thoroughly.
- Add the cumin, chili powder, tomatillo puree and water.
- Once it reaches a boil, add beans and reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (you can simmer it for an hour or more, but it will reduce in volume, requiring more liquid to be added).