Tex- Mex Chicken Chili

‘Fall’ back into the edible adventure once again this autumn.There is nothing that celebrates the taste of Fall more than a simmering pot of Chili,the ultimate comfort food on a crispy cold day.
Weekends are filled with children’s games & activities, so as I sat in the bleachers, last weekend almost frozen to my bench with the cold air blowing , I made a mental note to come well prepared for the game next weekend.The grand parents sitting beside me who had come to watch their grandkid play were well equipped with their sports chair, blankets, hood & jacket, until then I had no clue they take blankets to the game,having watched cricket matches all my life where none of the paraphernalia was required due to temperate weather, this came as a total surprise to me.The dad’s,started doing jumping jacks to keep themselves warm,while some mom’s ran to their cars to get more blankets,I had none in the car too,easing into the game scene I sat frozen to my bench…. either way, I learn each day, so for today’s game, I am all set with blanket chili .
“Chili con carne”(Spanish) /Chili with meat commonly known in American English as simply “chili”, is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat (usually beef), and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin. Variations, both geographic and personal, involve different types of meat and ingredients.”
The word “Tex- Mex” is derived from the amalgam of north Mexican peasant food with Texas farm & cowboy fare.It started as a nickname for Texas Mexican Railway but soon got incorporated as a part of the cuisine in the mission era” History has it that “Chili con carne was introduced to America by the “Chili Queens,” women who served food in San Antonio’s Military Plaza as early as the 1860s. Chili stands were also common in Galveston and Houston; they were the taco trucks of the 1800s. Tamales with chili was the most common order–beans were often added. Laborers counted on the chili vendors for a quick meal. Adventurous eaters loved them”
The beans , salsa & cheese probably are the Mexican influence to an otherwise meat & vegetable containing stew, added to it are the cayenne pepper like spices which stimulates the gastric juices to a roaring rhythm on days where slow cooked meals sets the pace for the day.Fall is a great time to pull out the slow cooker. While one is out enjoying the changing colors and cooler temperatures, dinner is preparing itself & what better way, than to have a pot of simmering Tex -Mex chili when you get back home from all the activities, be it apple picking, pumpkin patch or Fall games. Enjoy !

Tex Mex Chicken Chili
Tex Mex Chicken Chili

1.Oil- 2 tbsp
2.Onion- 1 large
3.Tomatoes- 3 ( finely minced)
4.Garlic- 3-4 cloves crushed or minced fine
5.Chicken breasts- 4 pieces ( cut into bite size pieces)
6.Chilli powder- 1 tsp
7.Cayenne Pepper – 1/2 tsp
8.Black Pepper ( powdered)- 1 tsp
9.Powdered Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp
10.Tomato sauce- 2 tbsp ( I used Marinara sauce which is just tomato sauce with garlic & some spices, since I ran out of Tomato sauce)
11.Chilli sauce- 1 tbsp
12.Salsa- 1 cup
13.Lemon extract- 1 tsp ( the original recipe calls for some beer wink emoticon , I thought I’d stick to lemons for obvious reasons grin emoticon )
14.Black eyed Beans/Pinto beans or any beans can be added- 1-2 cups ( based on preference)- I pressure cooked them to make it softer before I added them to the Chili mix
15.Carrots( 3-4 large) – finely sliced
16.Cilantro- a handful
17.Salt- to taste
18.Cheese- a few shredded pieces( or lots based on preference), I used the El Tappito Oxano cheese,to be as Mexican as possible wink emoticon

1.Heat oil, add garlic & sauté, then add the onions & tomatoes & sauté.
2.To this add the clean & cut chicken & cook it gently, then add all the other ingredients.If using a slow cooker, just add all the ingredients together stir well & let it cook slowly for hours, where the juices are well incorporated into the chicken, when you return home in the evening.
3.You can have a bowl full on it’s own or with chips or tortillas/chapattis, either way, it’s bound to keep you warm for the rest of the evening.
4.Enjoy the beautiful fall colors, a visit to the farm & come home for a warm home cooked meal, remember this s just the beginning of the edible adventure for Fall, more to come….

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