Thanksgiving is officially over, and we’re granted a slight reprieve before we start celebrating (eating our way through) Christmas. If you’re Jewish, you just have to power through Hanukkah right now and hope not to gain one million pounds. Eat some of those delicious potato pancakes for me.
Anyway, this week I’m going to try and eat a tad healthier than last week. Which shouldn’t be hard considering I was eating a piece of Smooth Operator (French Silk pie with a salty pretzel crust) from Emporium Pies for breakfast most days. Followed by a piece of pumpkin pie, for health.
And when I’m looking to not get fatter I look for recipes from not fat people (that’s a very PC term). So Mario Batali recipes are out (though I love them so). So this week calls for a little Gwyneth action. Earlier this year I ordered her book “It’s All Good,” and I’ve been slowly making my way through. The recipes are fairly simple, healthy, and easily adaptable to your own tastes. This Chicken Chili recipe was actually featured on Good Morning America this past spring, and I made it right away that day. Even though it was probably 100 degrees outside in Dallas.
This recipe is a keeper. Feel free to adapt it. I used thighs vs. breasts, but you could also easily use ground turkey. It’s healthy, but comforting at the same time. A great recipe for the few cold days we’ll have in Dallas this year.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Chicken and White Bean Chili
Feeds four regularly sized people.
3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem discarded, diced (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon sweet pimentón
A 28-ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
A 14-ounce can cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained
Topping Options: cilantro, lime wedges, finely diced red onion, hot sauce, greek yogurt
Place chicken thighs in a large stop pot and cover all the way with water or chicken broth. Bring the liquid to boil, turn the heat to low, cover the pot and then let simmer for 30 minutes (or an hour if you have time!). Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat with your fingers. Set it aside.
Meanwhile, separately heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder, pimentón, and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring now and then, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and another pinch of salt and turn the heat up. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and cook for ½ hour, or until the tomatoes begin to break down and lose their tinny taste.
Break the tomatoes up a bit with the back of your spoon and add the beans and the reserved chicken to the pot, stirring to combine. Add a splash of water (about 1/3 cup) if the chili is looking a bit dry and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes before seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with whatever toppings you like.