UPDATE: We’ve tweaked this recipe a lot since I first posted it in November 2008, so here’s an updated version.

Jeff has brought a lot of great things into my life, not the least of which is Chicken Chili.

The first time he made it for me was a few weeks after we got married. The electricity wasn’t working in the kitchen, so he plugged in an electric skillet on top of the dresser and made dinner.

It was dead sexy.

Twenty minutes later, we were huddled under a blanket on the couch with big, warm bowls full of spicy chicken chicken chili and a sack of tortilla chips between us.

It was so undeniably good. Like chicken tortilla soup, but thicker and limp tortilla-free.

A keeper.

Over the years, the recipe has evolved. At first, we were just following the one on the back of the seasoning mix, but then we started experimenting. A can of fire-roasted tomatoes here. A cup of frozen corn there. A few splashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce to amp up the spice. And we kept tinkering until we finally came up with a seasoning mix of our own.

That was a high-five kind of night, for sure.

And the time we added leftover roast chicken? It was an epic leap forward for leftover kind. (Just be sure to cube it so it won’t get tough.)

Are we done tinkering yet? No way!

Not when it just keeps getting better.

Chicken Chili

Recipe by Jeff and Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)

Makes 4 servings

    Seasoning Mix:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
    Chili:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (Or, if you have leftover roast chicken, cut it into cubes and use it. It’s amazing.)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 can (15 to 16 oz.) Great Northern beans
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Splash of soy sauce (optional)
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce, to taste
  • Garnishes: tortilla chips, shredded cheese, green onions, sour cream, cilantro
  1. Measure the ingredients for the seasoning mix into a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, cook the chicken in oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until no longer pink.
  3. Whisk together the broth and the cornstarch in a bowl or glass measuring cup. Pour over the chicken, and stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, corn and seasoning mix.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, and cover. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add soy sauce and hot sauce, if using. Taste, and adjust flavors as necessary.
  7. Serve warm with tortilla chips, cheese and any other garnishes you like.