Toni's Chicken ChiliUser Submitted Recipe
Chicken thighs (or legs and thighs), one package. (Preferably with bone and skin.)
1T olive oil
1-2 onions, depending on size, chopped coarsely
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper (or 1 or two of either kind), sliced
1 jalapeno, no seeds or ribs, minced (optional)
1-2 tsp each dry oregano and ground cumin (or to taste)
Dusting of dry red chili flakes (to taste)
4 oz Can Ortega diced green chilies (Anaheim chilies, not jalapenos!)
15 oz Can hominy (white or golden)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a film of olive oil in a heavy duty pan and add the dry chicken thighs, skin side down. Saute them at medium heat until they release easily from the bottom of the pan. (If it’s a non-stick pan, then go for a deep golden brown color. Turn them, and do the same on the non-skin side. Remove from the pan and pour off all but a thin film of fat.
2. While chicken is browning, chop onions in food processor, set aside. Change to slicing disc and slice celery stalks and bell peppers (cut in strips to fit the smaller feed tube). Mince garlic and then the jalapeno in mini-processor or by hand. Set aside all prepped vegetables until the chicken is brown and the pan is mostly drained of fat. A thin film of oil and the fond from browning the chicken should remain on the bottom of the pan.
3. Return the pan to the heat and add chopped onions and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add celery, bell peppers and jalapeno (if used). Continue to cook until all the vegetables are softened.
4. Push the veggies aside, add a breath more oil and put the cumin and other seasonings in the oil, stirring until fragrant, but not burned. Stir this all into the veggies. Now add the Ortega green chilis and the hominy (drained) and stir it all around. Add chicken broth almost to the top of the chicken (if you don’t have quite enough broth, add a little water. The chicken does not need to be covered with liquid).
5. By now, the chicken should have cooled enough to remove the skin. Once that’s done, snuggle the chicken pieces into the veggie mixture, and include any juice that might have accumulated. The veggies and broth should come almost to the top of the meat, but not cover them.
6. Cover the pan and cook over low to medium low heat for about 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, cover again, and cook until the meat is tender to the bone, maybe 45 min. in all.
7. If you feel that the broth is too liquid once the chicken is cooked, you can take the chicken out and simmer the veggie mixture, uncovered, until it reaches the consistency you want it to be. I always think things naturally have salt in them, so I wait until the end to see if anyone thinks it needs salting. Especially if you reduce the sauce by simmering it.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9. Serve, if you wish, with grated cheese, or sour cream, or sliced green onions, or fresh cilantro, or avocado, or all of these. If you like a spicier dish, you can add more jalapeno and red chili flakes right at the beginning, or some green salsa (at any point).