Autumn in a Bowl

Recipe: Chicken and Chili Bean Pot

Autumn is here! Changing leaves, Halloween, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, snow in the high country, it’s time to pack away the shorts for the year and break out the gloves, scarves, hats, and winter coats. Except for here, in the Valley of the Sun, where daytime temperatures are still in the mid-90s and the overnight lows are still in the 70s.

Regardless, this time of year has me hankering for something hearty and stew-like, which I found in one of my many cookbooks this weekend. This meal is surprisingly easy and quick to make, and the result is flavorful and filling without being overwhelming.

As shown in the collage above, prep is really¬† nothing more than cutting up the vegetables (chopped, not minced or diced. leave the pieces large enough that they don’t cook down to mush) and trimming the chicken pieces of excess fat and/or skin.

Aggressively brown the chicken pieces. The resulting “brown bits” left in the skillet provide a great deal of flavor for the resulting stew.

Chicken and Chili Bean Pot
Recipe type: Entree
Author: Cook’s Library, One Pot
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6
Chicken, tomatoes, beans, and veggie stew!
  • 4-8 chicken thighs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 140z kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2T tomato sauce
  • 2T flour
  • 1tsp chili powder
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Mix flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish
  2. Rinse and trim thighs, then dredge in the seasoned flour, coating on all sides
  3. Heat 3T vegetable oil in a large skillet at medium-high, add the chicken and brown for 3-4 minutes on all sides. Remove chicken using a slotted spoon and reserve.
  4. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  5. Add the stock, tomatoes, beans, and tomato paste, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then return the chicken to the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning as needed, and serve with a salad and crusty bread.


I will make two changes to the recipe the next time I make it. First, I’ll roast the bell pepper to enhance the flavor. This probably requires an additional pepper because roasting reduces the size. Second, I’ll add a couple of tablespoons of minced Chipotle chile in adobo to the mix (add it when adding the tomato paste). I think this would really kick the stew up a notch.

Rating:This is easily a 4 out of 5 glasses of mulled cider. If you make the changes I recommend, you’re at a 5. This looks like Autumn in a bowl, doesn’t it?

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