September 22, 2011

Chicken Chili with Bacon & Pineapple

Chicken Chili with Bacon & Pineapple!!!

I LOVE Everything about FALL!  The crisp air and clear blue skies, the smells of pumpkin and spice, watching God's beauty in the changing of the leaves and landscapes, decorating with scarecrows, pumpkins and corn stalks, wearing vests and scarves and rain boots---and making STEWS & CHILI!!!!!

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This is a family favorite around here and I came up with it by trying to make a chili that I tasted at our local CHILI COOK OFF in town!  It's not exactly like THAT one but I think I've got as close as I can without having his recipe in hand :)

MAKES one large pot of Chicken Chili with Bacon & Pineapple!!!

3-4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium sized sweet onion
1 green pepper
6 - large garlic cloves, minced
1 package of bacon, cooked
3 cans of pinto beans, drained
3 cans of red beans, drained
1 - 36 oz can of Hunt's Traditional Spaghetti Sauce (or your favoite)
1 - 16 oz bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (or your favorite)
1 package of Chili Seasoning
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
Green Onion, for garnish
Shredded Cheddar Cheese, for garnish

Start by bringing half of a large pot full of water to a rolling boil.  Salt the water and add your chicken breasts.  Once the water has come back up to a rolling boil, cover and kick the heat down to medium high heat boiling chicken for about an hour. Drain the chicken and then dice it up into fairly large bite size chunks.  (You don't want the chunks too small or they will fall apart in the chili)


Next, add your 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to another large pot (this is the one your chili will be in).  Heat the oil over medium high heat.  

Dice up your onion, green pepper and mince your garlic cloves.

Once your oil is heated -- go ahead and toss in all of the onion.  Saute the onion for about 5 minutes and then add your green pepper and garlic for about 3 more minutes.  
NOTE:  Your just trying to soften and bring out flavors....not cook it down.  This way you still have some texture and lots of flavor in the chili!

Toss in the chicken and turn your heat down to medium mixing everything together.'s time to add the BACON!  BACON makes EVERYTHING BETTER!!!! :)  I cook my bacon in the oven at 400 degrees on a cooking rack inserted in a cooking sheet.  this way all the grease drains off the bacon.  When it's done---I blot EVERY piece to dry off as MUCH GREASE as possible before it cools off and 'becomes part of the bacon'!

Chop your bacon into similar bite size pieces to your chicken and toss it in the chili pot!  Trying to keep everything somewhat uniformed in size and edible :)

Add ALL of your drained beans, can of spaghetti sauce, chili seasoning packet and BBQ sauce and stir until mixed thoroughly.  Add your pineapple last and stir.

At this point....everything is cooked.  Heat it up over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes and it should be ready to serve!!!!!

I usually serve my chili with shredded cheese and green onion on the side so people can garnish if they want too!  The perfect topping for an AMAZING chili!

I HOPE you enjoy the chili as much as my FAMILY and I do!  Traditionally -- we make chili and cornbread when carving pumpkins so I can assure you...we will make it again this fall!!!!

Let me know what YOU thought!!  Did YOUR family like it?? LOVE IT??

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