It's that time of the year again. Weather's gone downhill and it's time for chili!
My work is having an office chili cook-off and I thought I'd introduce them to my Caribbean Jerk Pulled Chicken Chili.
Got me a 1st place tie at my last job (I ran out early).
It's pretty easy to make, the key part being the order you cook the ingredients. Getting a hang of the process will let you experiment and substitute ingredients while still getting the same consistency.
I will also include a couple of optional choices and tips at the end.
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Step 1: The Arsenal
One of the most important parts of any recipe, the junk you put in it.
Pink chopping knife
Cool stirring spoon
Large stovetop pot (or crockpot)
Olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoon minced garlic
3 medium Vidallia onions (yellow or spanish work as well)
2 bell peppers
2 poblano peppers
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can green chiles (4 oz)
1 can chipolte corn (11 oz)
1 can dark red kidney beans (15.5 oz)
1 can light red kidney beans (15.5 oz)
1 can pinto beans (15.5 oz)
1 bottle beer (Any will work really, personal preference is a scotch ale)
Few dashes of bourbon/whiskey
~3 lbs rotisserie chicken
Seasonings (I season a bit at every step, no measurements):
Chili powder (I recommend Meijer organics)
Garlic Salt and Powder
Caribbean Jerk Seasoning (Kroger brand)
Step 2: Chicken Shredding
Pretty straight forward.
Insert into chicken
Don't include skin
Sprinkle with a bit of all the seasonings and set aside.
Step 3: Prepare Your Beans
Combine all 3 cans of beans and rinse them with water and strain. Set aside for later.
Please don't skip this step... The mucus like liquid they are packed in will not help your chili.
Step 4: Ninja Time
Chop all the onions and peppers, no need to be perfect. The variety in sizes will add different textures.
Keep them separated as the onions will be added to cook first.
Step 5: Cooking Time
Heat up the pot with a bit of olive or vegetable oil. Medium-ish heat is perfect.
Once up to temp, add the onions and minced garlic. Stir occasionally so they don't burn.
While the onions are cooking, it is a perfect time to multi-task and open all the cans.
When the onions become translucent-like, sprinkle a round of all the seasonings and add about a shot each of the bourbon and beer. Let simmer.
Step 6: Veggie and Chicken Time
Once most of the bourbon and beer has evaporated, drop in the peppers and corn.
Same routine, round of seasoning and stir occasionally.
When the peppers start getting soft, toss in the chicken. Stir vigorously, cook for about 5 min.
Step 7: Beans and Beer
Toss in the beans and season with another round of everything.
After a couple of minutes, add another dash of bourbon and the rest of the beer.
Stirring occasionally, let it simmer until the beer evaporates.
Step 8: Bring on the Tomatoes
Once the beer has disappeared, stir in the tomatoes. I usually add a bit of water and shake to get the last bit of the crushed tomatoes out of the can.
Time for yet another round of seasoning.
Bring to a simmer and stir regularly.
Step 9: Taste Test
While the chili is simmering, it is a perfect time to have a taste test.
This is also where you will play the game of "what's missing?"
Typically I find I will need to add more salt, chili powder and whatever special seasoning. This time I needed to add quite a bit more of the jerk seasoning.
I generally simmer for 15-20 min, so there's plenty of time to adjust the taste.
Step 10: Finished Product
Once the chili has reached a consistency that you're happy with, shut off the heat and serve!
I left mine a bit more liquidy knowing it would be reheated in a crockpot the next day at work for the competition.
Step 11: Tips and Options
Don't use predetermined seasoning measurements and take it easy early on. You will always have the chance to add more during the final step.
Dark or hoppy beers tend to add more flavor. Just make sure you let it cook off before putting in the tomatoes, otherwise the end product it will smell and taste like bad beer.
Cooking the peppers and onions at the same time will result in super mushy peppers. Always cook the onions first.
For added flavor, cook a few strips of thick-cut bacon in the pot first before added the onions. (I did not this time because some of my coworkers do not eat pork)
Substitute the Carribean jerk seasoning with a seasoning of your own liking. I've used cajun seasoning with some fiery success.
Added heat. When making this for myself only, I typically add a chopped jalapeno and some cayenne pepper to the recipe. Just be careful, I've experimented with a few spices on the hotter side and have made a couple of barely edible batches this way. (Or completely inedible according to my wimpy wife)
Good luck and enjoy!
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