It was only a matter of time before I did an Asian-inspired chili recipe. I'd been thinking about a chicken chili and then a friend sent me this one - and I liked the sound of it so much I made it the next day! As far as chicken recipes go, this is a real winner. I wanted to make it my own of course, so I added more of a few ingredients, substituted a few ingredients and added more vegetables. But I was happy to have her recipe to guide and inspire me. You may have read or tried one or more of my recent 'cabbage series' recipes - well that same friend sent me this one. She got the recipe idea from one of Bonnie Stern's Heart Smart cookbooks.
My adaptation is full of vegetables - with four to five carrots, red bell pepper, celery, green onion and bok choy (part of the cabbage family, actually). I added more fresh ginger and garlic than the recipe listed and substituted a few things I didn't have on hand. I think zucchini would be great in this and snow peas would be a nice addition (when locally available preferably). I used chick peas but I'd like to try it with edamame or a white bean too. I don't know about you but I'm really looking forward to our late spring and the heart of summer here when so many more local vegetables and fruits are available. I so often hold back as I'm less than thrilled about buying vegetables and fruits that have been flown in from Mexico etc.
Kid's Stuff: This was another winner with my one year old. I did a little extra chopping of her serving, mixed in the rice and she dug right in!
Here's the recipe:
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable or olive oil
- 3 to 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh ginger root, finely chopped
- 6 green onions (scallions), chopped
- 1 to 2 bell peppers, diced or grated (I used one this time and did a mixture of grating and chopping)
- 2 to 4 carrots, grated (chopped would be fine too. I did a mixture))
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 4 to 5 heads of bok choy, roughly chopped (use both the stalk and leaves)
- 2 or more teaspoons (10 ml or more) of hot chili paste (I used 3 and we added more at the table)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I used 8 chicken thighs), roughly chopped
- 1 x 28 oz can plum tomatoes (diced or pureed)
- 1 x 28 oz can of chick peas (or any bean you have handy or would prefer), rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce or Bragg's (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of rice wine OR
- 1 teaspoon (4 ml) of white wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) rice vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) sesame oil
- 1 cup (250 ml) fresh cilantro, flat Italian parsley, or parsley (I used cilantro), chopped
Method:Heat oil in wok/deep skillet/suitably sized saucepan. Add garlic, ginger and green onions. Cook gently until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
Add bell pepper(s), carrot, celery and chili paste. Cook for a few minutes, until they begin to soften.
Add chicken and combine well. Cook, stirring regularly, until the chicken pieces are white on the outside. Cover the wok/skillet/pan/pot for this stage or leave uncovered. I prefer to cover the pot for a few minutes at this stage.
Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Simmer longer if you prefer the liquid to reduce further.
Stir in beans, soy sauce, rice wine (or other combination of white wine vinegar and rice vinegar). Cook for ten minutes.
Stir in sesame oil and cilantro.
Serve with your favourite rice or naan.