Mariel here. These days, it seems like the only time I actually post on Feast is when I have a Secret Recipe Club deadline. That isn’t to say I haven’t been cooking, it’s just that I’ve been relying on old favorites (lasagna, mac n’ cheese, pesto meatballs) instead of testing new waters. That’s partly because familiarity makes for a more flawless delivery, and partly because I’m a kinda afraid of trying something new and then having my toddler throw it directly in my face.
To be fair, he’s a voracious little eater. It’s just that the urgency with which he asks for dinner and then the fury with which he rejects things that don’t please his palette is mildly terrifying. He wasn’t born a picky eater, but sometimes I worry my recent lack of creativity in the kitchen will turn him into one.
Anyway, for this month’s edition of SRC, I was assigned the somewhat daunting task of selecting a recipe from our hostess Debbi. Her blog, Debbi Does Dinner, is rife with delicious and nutritious options, and she tends to gravitate towards low-cal renditions of classic Southwest and Tex-Mex dishes, which is A-OK in my book. I thought about making her Pineapple Enchiladas; was this close to making Black Bean, Corn & Quinoa Tacos. But in the end, my love of buffalo-flavored anything won out and I whipped up her Buffalo Chicken Chili.
I made a few tweaks to reflect what was hanging out in my own pantry – namely using double black beans, omitting chili beans and subbing in smoked paprika to lend it some sizzle – but I suspect this is one of those forgiving dishes you could make a million different ways. While I haven’t yet tested it on my toddler – it’s a little spicy, and frankly, I fear for my sanity if it’s hurled off the high chair – every card-carrying adult in the house was a big fan. It’s perfect for those lazy football Sundays, which are now a distant memory…
Buffalo Chicken Chili
1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock
1 tablespoon butter – stock
2 lbs white meat ground chicken – $9.49
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped finely – $0.89
1 sweet onion, chopped – $1.19
2 ribs of celery, chopped finely – $2.99
5 cloves garlic, minced or run thru a garlic press – stock
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika – stock
Salt & pepper – stock
2 cups of low sodium chicken stock – stock
1/3 cup of Frank’s Red Hot sauce – $2.19
~30oz can of pureed or strained tomatoes – $2.99
2 15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed – $2.58
Blue cheese (optional)
Crumbled tortilla chips (optional)
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $22.32
Cost per serving: $3.72
1) In a large stock pot, heat olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Brown the chicken on each side once pan is hot, about 10 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crumble into bits.
2) Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, smoked paprika and some salt & pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
3) Add the chicken stock, hot sauce, pureed tomatoes, beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, allowing flavors to combine and sauce to thicken.
4) Garnish with blue cheese, cilantro & crumbled tortilla chips, if desired, and serve hot.