Mixed Bean Chili with Chicken

This is a five star meal. When we lived in Texas, our friend Eric prepared a chili like this. We tried to emulate him, and we think we came up with a good combination. We found this white bean chili from the new homemaker, and Sarah thought that adding cream would be good to thicken it. The challenge here is to make an American recipe with European products.  

Every time we do beans, Carlos has the idea of making a typical Spanish, Judias Pintas con Chorizo (recipe by Peepa – spanish). But Sarah, can only think about American-Mexican Chili. The main difference is the spiciness. Meals in Spain are like the rest of the Europeans, mild and not spicy, while Mexican dishes, can be quite hot. Carlos asked his Spanish grandma to cook these beans for Sarah the last last time we where there. She liked them, but Sarah still doesn’t think its necessary to put chorizo in the pinto beans just like Carlos wouldn’t dream of puting tortilla chips in the beans. So, Carlos drops in some slices of chorizo and Sarah makes sure the dish is topped off with tortilla chips.

We where helping some friends move, so we thought it would be good to do a crockpot meal. We brought the crockpot from the U.S.  We have never seen crockpots, or slow-cookers in Europe. We have theories about that, but we will stick this time to the recipe. We are convinced though, that the best way to make any kind of stew is using a crockpot. Not only because you can achieve a great flavor, as all the ingredients mix very well during the hours, but it is really easy to prepare.

You just basically throw all the ingredients in the pot:

  • White beans (in this recipe we use a higher percentage of white beans) 1+ cups
  • Pinto Beans (one cup dry)
  • Garbanzo Beans (one cup dry)
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chili peppers/jalapenos (to taste) we used 3 or 4 slices from a jar. It was mild but had just a hint of spice.
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1/4 or 1/2 chicken* or a chicken breast (with the bones) and a few legs. Take off most of (85%) the skin.
  • Chorizo (about 200 gr. or 1/4 pound or less)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cummin (1 tsp approx)
  • Paprika (1/2 tbs approx)
  • Oregano (1tbs approx)
  • Water to cover the beans by about 1 inch 

Top with:

  • fresh Cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • cheese (cheddar where available)
  • sour cream/creme freche

*you can use chicken breasts, but you will not have the enhanced flavor of the bones. For stews it is always better to add some bones. In Europe is easier to find whole chickens, so just use a half/quarter. In the US sometimes it’s hard to get meat with bones, you can always use some yummy chemicals (like dried bouillons or canned prepared soups).

Mix it a little bit, and... ready to cook

Mix it a little bit, and... ready to cook in the crockpot

We left the food cooking for about 8 hours. When we came back, we were hungry and the house smelled delicious. Another trick when using the crockpot is to cover it with a couple of rags, so the heat and the smell don’t get lost around the house… 🙂 This is Carlos’s invention on how to save electricity because he says it keeps the heat in the crockpot. I thought it was ridiculous at first, but i have to admit that it cooks faster.
For the beans use about a handful and a half for every person. We recommend adding a few more just in case just in case you want leftovers or its really yummy and you have seconds or thirds!

2 responses to “Mixed Bean Chili with Chicken

  1. This looks great, I am going to try it!

  2. We didn’t have all the ingredients for this recipe but it inspired me to make spaghetti.

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