Use your slow cooker to make this easy, lighter tasting chili featuring boneless chicken instead of red meat.
It’s a one pot healthy meal packed with smoky southwestern flavor your whole family will love.
(Check out eight days of chicken for more great chicken recipes.)
If you don’t own a slow cooker/crockpot yet, now’s the time!
*easy to use
*perfect for beginner or reluctant cooks
*come in every size to fit any budget.
I reach for the crockpot especially during holidays or when I need to cook dinner but don’t have time to tend to the stove or oven.
Don’t think of the crockpot as just a winter tool.
From making chili and stews to applesauce and bread pudding, crockpots are a busy cook’s best friend year round.
This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite slow cooker books, 200 Low- Carb Slow Cooker Recipes by Dana Carpender.
( While we do not eat a strictly low carb diet, my family enjoys Carpender’s easy, versatile recipes to keep meals interesting.)
This particular chicken chili was devoured in two days!
Bottom Line: you don’t have to eat low-carb to enjoy this slow cooked meal!
A few extra ingredients than in my typical recipe make this chili world class: two kinds of paprika and three types of tomatoes: paste, sauce and fire roasted.
I also add a tablespoon of pureed chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, a product found in the Mexican food aisle of the grocery store.
Tip: Place the contents of one or two cans of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce in the blender and blend completely. Label and store the adobo puree in your refrigerator to add flavor and body to chili, soups, sauces, dips, etc…
(If you can’t find this product, just leave it out.)
For best flavor, combine onion, spices and tomato sauces the night before you want to cook the chili.
This gives the onion and garlic time to absorb the sweet, slightly smoky tomato flavors.
Turn on the slow cooker and place the tomato mixture inside, then add in the beer and broth.
Stir to combine with the chicken, cover and cook on low until the chicken is very tender, about 5-6 hours.
Remove cooked chicken to a cutting board and slice. To thicken the chili, blend together a little masa flour and cool water. Stir masa mixture into chili liquid and then add the sliced chicken back in.
Keep warm on lowest setting (such as BUFFET or SIMMER) until ready to serve.
Or let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to five days.
Let your guests help themselves to the garnishes: fresh cilantro, sliced cherry tomatoes, white cheddar cheese and slices of lime.
And dig in to your new favorite chicken chili!
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Serves: 4+ servings
- 1½ lbs chicken (skinless, boneless thigh meat) (640 gm)
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1/2 medium onion)
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic or roasted garlic
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of sugar or sugar substitute
- ¼ cup tomato sauce (Classico Tomato and Basil)
- 1 teaspoon blended chili in adobo sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 14 oz drained chopped tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes
- 11 oz light beer ( for gluten free, just substitute with chicken broth)
- 8 oz chicken broth (low sodium ok)
- 2 tablespoons masa flour
- ¼ cup or more cool water
- Optional garnishes:
- fresh cilantro
- fresh sliced cherry tomatoes
- grated white cheddar cheese
- limes, thinly sliced
- Up to a day in advance: rinse and dry chicken pieces and place in a ziploc bag. Refrigerate.
- In a small mixing bowl combine next eleven ingredients: chopped onion, garlic, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, sugar, salt, tomato paste, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and chiles in adobo sauce. Cover and refrigerate.
- To make chili: plug in slow cooker and add onion/tomato mixture. Pour in beer and broth and stir to combine. Add whole chicken thighs and press down into liquid, spreading pieces evenly throughout pot. Cover and cook on low 5 - 6 hours. (Start checking for doneness after 5 hours.)
- When chicken is very tender, remove meat and slice thickly.
- To thicken chili, combine 2 tablespoons masa flour with ¼ cup or more cool water and stir well to remove any clumps. Pour masa mixture into chili liquid and stir well. Return sliced chicken pieces to chili liquid and stir again. Cover pot and turn to lowest setting, such as BUFFET or SIMMER an additional 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
- Serve with garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, sliced cherry tomatoes, grated white cheddar cheese and thin slices of lime.
- See blog post for photos and additional tips and tricks.
Recipe makes four hefty servings.
For calorie savings, serve smaller portions with a big green salad!
Lower sodium: leave out salt and use low sodium chicken broth.