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Quick Chicken Chili

chicken chili bowlChili is a big-time default dinner in my house. It’s always the first place my brain goes on those days when I haven’t given any thought to the fact that I have to feed my children…and it’s 5:30. I always seem to have the right ingredients on hand for it and it’s one of the few meals that everyone in the house eats without much doctoring. (We each prefer a different combination of toppings, but that’s OK, right?) Usually I’m making it with ground meat (turkey, almost always), but the other night I decided to mix it up and use shredded chicken. I admit that I’m given to superlatives, but…I think it’s my new favorite! Click to the jump for the instructions.

Quick Chicken Chili

2 thick chicken breasts
canola oil
2 t. red pepper flakes
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 T chili powder
1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 T oregano
1/2 cup black beans

handful of corn kernels (frozen is fine)
any or all of these toppings: shredded cheddar, avocado chunks, sour cream, tortilla chips,  fresh limes, cilantro

In a heavy-bottomed pot, brown chicken in oil, about 4 minutes per side. (It doesn’t have to be cooked through.) Remove from pan. Add a little more oil to pan, and add onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder, stir until onions are covered, then add tomatoes and oregano. Stir. Add chicken back to the pot and nestle in tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pot, shred it using two forks, then add back to the pan with beans and corn. Stir until everything is warmed. Serve in individual bowls and have the kids add their own toppings at the table.

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