Happy February everyone!  The old weather and the multiple days of snow are upon us!  As many of you know, there’s almost nothing better than a nice bowl of hot, delicious chili on days and nights like these. With that in mind, I am going to show you a unique but very delicious chili you can make to warm your bones.  I present to you, my chipotle coconut chicken chili.  Try to say that five times fast!

This will be one of the more unique chilis that you’ve had, but I guarantee it will be one of the most delicious.  I also tried to make it as healthy as possible, because, you know, “resolutions” and all.  So here’s the ingredient list:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • ½ cup lentils
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers
  • 1 14 Oz can coconut milk
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 4 Oz frozen spinach
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper 

First thing is first, combine the dried spices with some salt and pepper. Use half of the rub to covert he chicken and rub it in.  Let that sit for a few minutes.  In a blender, combine the chipotle peppers and diced tomatoes. Make sure to include some of the adobo sauce the peppers are in.   Blend until smooth and pureed.  Put a large Dutch oven on medium high heat.    Add the oil and let it get hot.  Now add the chicken breast and cook on  each side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Add the chicken stock and the chipotle/tomato puree and put heat down to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer for an hour and a half.  Take your chicken breast out and shred it when cool enough to handle without turning the heat off.  I suggest using your stand mixer if you have one.  It is great for shredding meats.  Just put it in with the whisk attachment and put it on low, and watch it go! A hand mixer would work just as well. 

Once the chicken is shredded, it’s now time to finalize the base of this chili.  Add the rest of your dry rub and then the coconut milk.  Stir to combine.  Now look at that color!  How delicious does THAT look?

At this point you want to put the chicken back in and also add your lentils and cook them.  Bring your liquid to a quick boil and then drop to a simmer and let go for 40 minutes or until the lentils are done.  Add the spinach and corn and let heat through, about 5-10 minutes.  Now, your chili is done!   Serve up a bowl and enjoy this hearty, delicious chili on these cold, snowy February nights!  

But wait, there’s more!!  I want to hear from you!  Please email me at tkmnewport@yahoo.com and let me know if you’ve tried my recipes, how they’ve turned out, and any helpful comments you may have.  I look forward to hearing from you!  See you in March!!

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Jay Flanders

Jay Flanders is a native of Newport and avid cook. While he studied at the University of Rhode Island, he also attended the College of Food Network via his television set where he learned the basics of cooking. Also being an all-too-avid eater at restaurants, he really began to learn what ingredients went together, cooking techniques and other tips and tricks in the kitchen. He used that knowledge to teach himself how to cook and how to start making his own recipes. Now, he’s here to give you his tips, tricks and sometimes uniquely tasty spins on recipes and to show you that great cooking can be done is the tiniest of kitchens like his.