Cooking sure came in handy as a broke college student! I cooked a lot for friends and roommates. A male friend of mine mentioned in passing one day that he was in the mood for a "good steak". "I can cook a steak" I replied matter-of-factly. He didn't believe me. So, I told him if he bought the steak (one for me too, of course) I would cook for him. This became a weekly thing. He began inviting his roommates in on the feast. They bought the groceries and I prepared a big meal. I thought all women cooked. Who knew it would make me such a hot commodity as a friend and later a wife? My (now) husband and I were somewhat penpals/phone friends for a long time before we began dating. He reacted with elation when I told him I could cook. His parents are from SC and he grew up with a mom that could cook. He said most of the women he'd dated didn't cook. Really? Maybe its a southern thing (read: "old fashioned" or "traditional") that women cook and bake?
I enjoy it. Its a skill that has come in handy time and time again. I pride myself most for being about to take whatever is in the house at the time and create a great-tasting meal. I rarely follow a recipe unless I am experimenting in cuisine I am unfamiliar with. But once I make the dish I will edit and adjust as I see fit or apply what I learned to "spice up" (pun intended) an old recipe.
So, tonight, I made chicken chili. Sure, I've made chili many times. My husband says my typical chili is too red. He describes it as spaghetti sauce with beans. Its not that it doesn't taste good, he just prefers a smoother, beanless chili which I would describe as hot dog chilli and more of a condiment than a meal. Everyone once in a while I like chili. Today is really frigid and seemed like the perfect day for a hearty warm bowl. I've been trying variations to get to a happy medium from the kind of chilli my husband likes and what I'm used to making. Tonight I think I hit the jackpot with this simple recipe. I'm not one for exact measurements and chilli is one of those forgiving dishes so use similar products if you can't find the exact brands I used. I'm sure it will be fine! It has a nice consistency. Serves 8-10 generous portions. Use leftovers as a dip or for chili dogs.
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I used prepared garlic in a jar)
- 1 package of ground chicken (about 1 lb?)
- 1 package of McCormick chili seasoning,
- 1 can of Goya Pink Beans in Sauce,
- 1 cup of water,
- 1 can on crushed tomatoes,
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Victoria Vodka Sauce),
- 1 can Glory Red Beans and Rice,
- about 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- Heat pot to med-hot, add garlic and defrosted ground chicken (Substitute ground turkey or beef)
- Stir in 1 package of McCormick chili seasoning,
- Add jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Victoria Vodka Sauce) before meat browns
- Add cup of water and stir (this helps break down the meat to a blended consistency)
- Let begin to boil, turn heat down to med
- Add Pink Beans, crushed tomatoes and can of Red Beans and Rice
- Stir and sprinkle in smoked paprika
- Cover and cook for about 10 min at med heat to make sure meat is cooked thoroughly
- Turn heat to low and simmer for another 5 min with lid OFF to thicken