Motivation to blog has been a struggle this past week. Like, a REAL struggle. It isn’t because I don’t love it because I do. SO much. It’s really just been the whole taking pictures, editing and writing the recipe thing. So, the part that is 100% necessary.
I attribute it to how incredibly chilled out and relaxed I’ve felt over the last week and the fact that we’re in this beautiful in between of seasons where the days are incredibly beautiful and the sun is warm and the nights are cool and call for a thick blanket. For me, it’s this incredibly peaceful time where life slows down and the days become sweeter.
It’s the time of year where, if you don’t slow down to really take in the change of leaves and season, you’ll miss it. In the blink of an eye, the cool mornings will become freezing cold mornings, days and evenings, the leaves will have fallen and the days will be gray.
There seems to be no time for recipe staging, photo taking and recipe writing while I’m taking in every second of my favorite time of year. Before taking the photos of this slow cooker chocolate chicken chilli, I contemplated what type of set-up I was going to do. What was I going to top it with? What bowls was I going to use? How many bowls? Should I add napkins, etc?
And then, as I felt the afternoon slipping away, the warm air turning to a chilled breeze and the light quickly changing to that cozy, peaceful golden glow I love so much, I decided to shoot it exactly as I was going to eat it for dinner. I piled it in to a bowl, crumbled on some brown butter cornbread, took a few pictures and then immediately went outside.
Unfancy. Unadorned. Just as you and I will eat it because who has time for fancy, dolled up meals right now? Not I. Not you. We just need cozy, comforting, healthy and filling. If it involves a slow cooker and minimal effort on our part, well that’s even better.
Pair this slow cooker chocolate chicken chilli with my brown butter cornbread and you have cozy dinner perfection.
Cheers guys, see you back here on Friday for something sweet!
- 1¼ pounds lean ground chicken
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½-1 tsp chipotle powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 8oz water
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15oz can chickpeas
- 1 15oz can black beans
- 1 15oz can kidney beans
- 2 ears of corn, kernels removed OR 1½-2 C frozen corn kernels
- 2 roasted red peppers
- 1-2 roasted jalapenos
- 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- To roast the red peppers (if not using jarred roasted peppers) and then jalapenos, preheat your broiler. put the peppers on the top rack of your oven and allow to roast, turning once each side has blackened until all sides are done. Turn the broiler off, remove from the oven and wrap peppers in foil to steam. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skins off, remove the seeds and dice peppers small.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and ½ tsp salt. Cook, stirring every now and then, breaking up the meat as you go until almost completely cooked. Add the spices and cocoa powder and toast for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking and stirring until the paste has browned, about 2 more minutes. If any of it begins sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a bit of water.
- Add the 8oz water, stir, scraping up everything from the pan and pour in to your slow cooker (mine is 6qt). Add the beans, canned tomatoes, peppers and corn. Stir well.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. I ran mine on high for 2 hours then slow for 3½ more. You can leave it on low all day if you wish. The longer the better!
- Before serving, add more salt, pepper, coconut sugar/brown sugar and red wine vinegar to taste.
- Serve warm with hot buttered brown butter cornbread and any desired toppings (CHEESE!)