Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

How is that for an alliterate recipe title? So thanks to Lacey’s response on my “how to use these veggies” post, I discovered a great new-to-me recipe from Giada of the Food Network. Of course, her recipe needed a few little tweeks. Cheese? Not in our house. How much fennel? Lets trim that down – a lot. Ground chicken? Chicken should be chunky! Parsley on chili? Seriously?

So after making a few modifications this very chunky chili was served and it was delicious! The recipe does make for a very chicken-heavy chili. Feel free to cut that down to 3/4 lb, 1/2 lb, or even make it vegetarian if you wish. You can easily double the beans, add some more veggies (I thought chopped zucchini would go nicely), or just thicken the broth a bit more and enjoy it with less of the chunky add-ins.

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

To note, we did like it as is, and I don’t think my husband (aka “the meat man”) would want me to cut back on the chicken at all, let alone make it vegetarian.

For dinner (the first time), I served full bowls with some homemade “cheddar” and chive spelt rolls (nightime, hence the dark lighting) …

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

For lunch the next day (pictured above), we were out of the rolls, but it still went nicely as leftovers over rice.

On a second go of the chili (more chard in the CSA!), I added some quartered mushrooms (about 4 ounces, but you could go for 8) and served the chili over a bed of rice steamed asparagus. Both veggies were nice additions, so feel free to play around with the produce you have on hand.


Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

Recipe adapted from Giada’s White Bean and Chicken Chili. I used chipotle chili powder, and even just this wee amount made the dish notably spicy. You can adjust to taste with some crushed red pepper, chilis, or hot sauce, should your chili powder not bring the heat you are seeking.

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, optionally Gluten-Free, and heck, you can even make it Vegan / Vegetarian (sans chicken of course) if you so desire.

  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into small slices / chunks*
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Cornstarch or Arrowroot
  • Couple Pinches of Salt (optional)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large Onion, diced or 1 Leek, sliced 1/4-inch thick and quartered
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Salt or to taste, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Flour (your choice, I used whole wheat pastry flour), depending on how thick you like it
  • 1 15-ounce can Cannellini or White Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Large Bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces (my bunch with stems was about 3/4 lb) OR 1 Bag of Baby Spinach Leaves (should chard be hard to come by in your area)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn, Thawed
  • 2 Cups Regular or Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (I used regular)
  • White or Brown Rice for serving (optional)

Place the chicken in a medium-sized bowl, and stir in the cornstarch or arrowroot (I like to add a pinch or two of salt here too) until it is well-distributed and appears absorbed. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion or leek and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until nice and softened. Add the garlic and sauté for just 30 seconds or so. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the spices – cumin, fennel, oregano, and chili powder. Cook while continuously stirring, until the chicken is cooked (no pink showing). This will take about 7 or 8 minutes. If the chicken threatens to stick, just add a dash or two of the broth.

Stir in the flour to coat, and add the broth, beans, chard, and corn. The chard will look boisterous, but don’t worry, it cooks down significantly.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow it to simmer for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour. The liquid will reduce in half and thicken a fair bit. Taste test it as it is cooking, and season to taste with additional salt (I used another 1/4 teaspoon) if desired. You can also add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper as it cooks if you want more spice, but we found the medium-heat to be just right as is.

If desired, serve over rice and with some homemade rolls.

*I used chicken breasts that were only slightly defrosted, making them very easy to slice. I sliced them about ¼-inch thick, and then cut each slice into ½-inch chunks. But you can cut them any size you like.

Yields 4 servings with rice and/or bread

Can you spot the spoon in this picture?

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

16 thoughts on “Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

  1. I see the spoon reflected in the bowl, on the left side! 🙂

  2. Sounds wonderful! I love the addition of swiss chard in this delicious chili!

  3. Lacey VP

    I forgot about all that Fennel. I agree it is a lot. I usually omit it as my husband thinks it’s weird! I like the alterations you made to the recipe. I am going to try it with your suggestions. As for the chicken, I make my own ground chicken by putting chicken breast in the food processor and chopping it until it looks like ground meat… I have never found ground chicken in Iowa so you have to get creative right…

  4. Just beautiful! Love how you adjusted the recipe and made it yours! You rock girlie

  5. yums

  6. Thats a tasty looking dinner. Im always after more ‘one pot one wonder’ dinners- and that sounds perfect.

  7. Hi Alisa! Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m so happy to have found yours! Everything looks so good. Wonderful photography!

  8. Getting different foods definitely forces you to try new things! The chili sounds delicious! I am sure my boys would like it!

  9. Lacey – No need to grind it up if you don’t want to dirty the food processor, the chicken works great in this chili chunky-style. I highly recommend it! Also, the fennel does add something, Giada just added a somewhat overpowering amount. Try this quantity of fennel and see what you think!

    Sarena – The boys would definitely love it and you can easily make it GF for the Illustrator. Simply use your favorite gluten-free flour, or cut the amount of the flour in half and substitute it with starch (like arrowroot or cornstarch).

  10. A dish that is both delicious and fun to say? Very cute. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while. I really like your changes…the end result looks fantastic!

  11. Thanks for linking this up to Friday Firsts Alisa! I don’t think I’ve ever tried swiss chard (knowingly at least)! The pictures are absolutely beautiful! And the nerd that I am I had to sit here and triumphantly find the spoon! hehe

    Oh and you totally should get your niece out there! I was shocked at how much fun we had in the kitchen! The first day she got here we did a meal plan and she helped me w/ the list and coupons and shopping. Then ea. meal she helped w/ and like I said in my last post – she even went and sought out recipes for things she found in the fridge! I still have another post to show a dish we made, but haven’t had the time to put it together – maybe over the weekend!

  12. I had to read VG’s reply to spot the spoon. She’s clearly a decade younger with better eyes than me 🙂

    Chard and the CSA this time of year in CA. Girl. I hear ya. Use it up anyway you can 🙂

    My random questions for a food blog. Yep! Hot topic fridays. I get so bored of looking at food by friday I MUST keep it more interesting. I mean dear god, looking at pics of food all day in the sphere, it’s nice to talk nudist camps, isnt it?!

  13. Quite good, quite easy and I love the use of smoky peppers to add depth of flavor!

  14. Sue

    Thanks Alisa for the great recipe. Cooked it up tonight with a few modifications of my own. Don’t like fennel or cumin, so I used Fajita Seasoning frm The Spice Hunter (onion, garlic, ginerr, paprika, jalapeno, oregano, musard, cumin, red pepper, parsley). Otherwise, I followed your steps. Tasted at the end added a little more salt & some black pepper, still not quite right – squeezed in a little fresh lime juice – Ah perfect! Had it over brown rice with diced avacado on top. Yummy!

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