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Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for your dad, grandfather, or a father figure in your life, we have something special just for you. Save 15% off selected items until 6/16/24. Use code DAD. ⮞

Smokin' Hot Chicken Chili

Image of Kick-Ass Chicken Chili
I love a great bowl of Texas Red as the weather turns chilly—one which does not contain beans or tomato, and is spiced just right. Some recipes are as simple as it gets—just ground beef, water and chili powder; others are layered and complex, hiding a slew of secret ingredients from cocoa powder to beer to coffee to molasses to cinnamon to peanut butter (yup, you read that right!). Beef, either ground or in chunks, is the traditional protein used to create its requisite soul-satisfying, deeply ‘meaty” flavor. Raw, or sometimes smoked brisket, ribeye, bone-in short ribs or chuck are the usual suspects. To complete the dish, Texans add a side of beans and a tray of garnishes—cheese, chilies, lime wedges, Fritos corn chips, minced cilantro, Mexican oregano, chopped onion and avocado slices.

What is hard to find in Texas (or anywhere else, for that matter) is a really good Chicken Chili. Bland, boring and lacking that umami-ish “It” factor that compels you to go back for more, chicken chili was always a compromise—until now. Layered flavors and just enough “heat” to grab your attention, this chicken chili uses a variety of culinary tricks to up its taste. To build flavor, you need to start with a good foundation: this recipe uses a flavor-packed liquid, a double-concentrated chicken bone broth mixed with beef marrow bones, which lends a deep richness to this stew. Adding beef marrow bones to the mix is the secret ingredient in this dish that creates a depth of flavor that chicken bones alone cannot match (I tried doubling the amount of chicken bones and the flavor was still flat). Sweating the onions and garlic in a mixture of rendered organic beef tallow and avocado oil adds another layer of flavor (with chili, fat is a flavor!), as does “blooming” the smoked paprika, ground cumin, ancho chili powder and smoked salt. Using a mixture of roasted fresh chilies: mild, earthy green Hatch chilies, a bell pepper-ish mild poblano, a spicy vegetal green jalapeño, and a fruit-forward red, fiery Fresno, brings earthy, smoky, sweet, vegetal and fire flavor notes to the dish. The beans add texture and roundness. Serve with a tray of traditional garnishes on the side to customize tastes for this “anything-but-bland chicken chili stew! This recipe can be done over several days—add the pulled-apart rotisserie chicken right before serving. If chili is too thin, add cornstarch slurry at the end to thicken it up.

Smokin' Hot Chicken Chili
Serves: 5 as a main; 8 as a side
Image of chicken chili
Ingredients

For the Concentrated Chicken & Beef Marrow Bone Broth (makes 5 cups)
2 cups chicken bone broth (I recommend Butchers chicken bone broth)
4 beef marrow bones
1 rotisserie chicken carcass
5-6 cups filtered water

Directions
Image of chicken preparation
Place all ingredients into a medium pot, heat on medium heat and bring up to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for about 4-5 hours. Make sure bones are always covered with liquid, and do not boil. Strain and place bone broth into a container and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the Chicken Chili:
Image of ingredients
1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and meat pulled off the bone with your fingers; use about 3 cups for chili
4 mild Hatch green peppers
1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
1 red Fresno pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 tablespoons rendered organic beef tallow
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
6 cloves fresh garlic, thinly shaved on a mandolin
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoon smoked salt
3 cups chicken and beef marrow bone broth
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
½ can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch until dissolved (cornstarch slurry is optional)

Directions
Image of shredded chicken
Place beef tallow and avocado oil into a Dutch oven on medium heat till melted and combined. Add chopped onions and cook till translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook for an additional minute. Add ancho chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and smoked salt and sauté till fragrant, about 1 minute. Add concentrated chicken and beef marrow bone broth and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Image of roasted peppers
Line a toaster tray with foil, and preheat toaster oven to 375 F. Place peppers on a plate, pour avocado chili oil over chile peppers and turn with your fingers to lightly coat with oil. Place oiled peppers on roasting tray and heat for about 10 minutes or until skin is lightly charred and brown, then turn with tongs and roast for an additional 8 minutes or until skin is brown and lightly charred. Remove peppers and place in a plastic zip lock bag for about 10 minutes to help steam off the peppers' tough skins.
Image of roasted peppers inside plastic bag
Wearing disposable gloves on your hands, remove peppers from bag and rub skins off with your fingers, then remove stems, seeds and veins. Tear pepper flesh with your fingers and set on a plate. (Do not rinse pepper skins with water; otherwise, you might dilute its smoky flavor.)
Image of chili
Add roasted poblano, Hatch, Fresno and jalapeño chili peppers to stew, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chicken and stir to heat through. If chili is too thin, add cornstarch slurry and stir till thickened to your liking. If too thick, add more concentrated chicken and beef marrow bone broth. Add lime juice, stir and plate. Serve with a variety of garnishes on the side.

Garnishes:
Image of garnishes
4 limes, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
Red and Green Hatch pepper powder
Sliced or minced black olives
Fried tortilla strips or 1 bag of Frito corn chips (optional)
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