Last Update: Sep 8th, 2010
Jerk chicken chili

Easy Jerk Chicken Chili

Jerk chicken has become a favorite of mine, and one day I just wanted to add a bit of meat to some bean chili I had left over and I realized that this was a match made in heaven. Sometimes great things are discovered completely by accident. The concept here is simple; instead of using the standard jalapeno or cayenne peppers for the heat, we're using the scotch bonnet pepper that is inherent in Jerk seasoning. We add a little extra scotch bonnet, mainly because Publix sells them and they're pretty cheap, to add some additional heat. You'll need a dutch oven or other covered pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients.

Step 1: Marinade

The most difficult part of this recipe is remembering to marinate the chicken. You can either cut the raw breasts into chunks, slice the breast in half or buy thin sliced breasts. If you marinate a full cutlet the marinade won't work as well. I bought the thin cut breasts mainly because they were on sale. If you dice the chicken you'll have to brown it in a skillet before making the chili; if you use thin sliced cutlets you can cook them on a George Forman Grill. To marinate, put 2 teaspoons of the Walkerwood Jerk Seasoning in a ziplock bag with the chicken cutlets, work in the marinade to coat, and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2: Cook the Chicken

Take the chicken out of the ziplock bags and cook the chicken. Its going to cook a bit in the chili, so you only want to brown it without cooking it all of the way through. You want to sear the marinade into the chicken, so cook the chicken on relatively high heat. I have a variable temperature George Forman so I turn it up all the way and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Some Foreman grills are not hot enough to sear. If you diced the chicken before marinading it or you don't have a grill that gets hot enough, brown the chicken in the pot you'll use to make the chili. When the chicken is cooked, dice the cutlets if you haven't already done so.

Step 3: Assemble the Ingredients

Over medium heat, cook the onion, scotch bonnet pepper and the garlic in the olive oil until the onion is clear, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red beans and the black beans and the chili powder. I don't measure the chili powder; I sprinkle it on until there is thin coverage over the entire pot. Stir the mixture until the chili powder is incorporated and then turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to simmer and cover. Get the heat so that the chili is just bubbling a little bit when the cover is on. Then add the chicken. It should look something like this at this point:

Chili start

Final Step: Let it simmer

Partially cover the pot, leaving just enough of an opening so that steam can escape. You want the tomato juices to thicken into a sauce. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Make sure you have a very slight boil.

That's it. You can garnish with a bit of green onion but its really not necessary. You can add cheese or sour cream as well. Refrigerate what you don't eat and re-heat for a quick snack. Its also great in an omelet with cheddar cheese.

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