Chicken Chili with Cornbread Croutons

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I am a huge fan of chili and I’ve experimented with recipes a fair amount, but I always come back to this same stellar red chili. It has a smooth red base with chunky tomatoes and hearty beans. I use ground chicken, but you can easily substitute with ground turkey or ground beef.

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This particular time around I added cornbread croutons. I love a good crunch, and these are absolute perfection on top. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They soak up the chili and make every bite better, especially when the cheese slightly melts on top of them.

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I bake the cornbread a day ahead and let it sit out. The day I am making the chili, I cube the cornbread and brown it up in the oven. You can use any box recipe you like or you can follow the recipe below.

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If you are looking for a recipe to feed a crowd, something for a little football game coming up, or to win a chili cook off, try this recipe out. It’s a winner.

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Red Chicken Chili with Cornbread Croutons

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet or yellow onions, diced
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can pizza sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • shredded cheese
  • cornbread croutons (see recipe below)

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add ground chicken and break up with wooden spoon. Cook through, addingseasoning salt, salt and pepper- you will add more to taste shortly. Once meat is browned, add tomatoes, pizza sauce, beans, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons and shredded cheese.

Cornbread Croutons

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the bottom of and 8 or 9 inch square cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave (takes about a minute). Pour into a large bowl and add the milk and egg. Whisk until well combined. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once. Stir until the flour is moistened – batter will be lumpy and that is OK! Pour batter into the prepared pan. Spread out and smooth the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in refrigerator or better yet – let sit overnight.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut cornbread into cubes and put into a large bowl. Pour olive oil over and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer cubes to a silpat lined baking sheet, or just line a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden and crisp on the outside. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

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