I’ve had this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili on my list to make for several weeks now, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to try it. I saw it over at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and new I needed to try it…mostly for my husband’s sake. I just adapted it every so slightly, according to what I had on hand. I’m not crazy about jalapeno poppers and I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy things, but I knew Brett would love it. My in-laws were in town over the weekend so I decided it would be the perfect meal to make for them, because my father-in-law loves spicy foods just as much as Brett does.
Brett almost always sends me a text at the end of the day asking what’s for dinner. He might have squealed a little when I text the words Jalapeño.Popper.Chicken.Chili. His response was something like “holy crap are you kidding me?” Which was I’m sure accompanied by a squeal (while sitting at his desk at work). I just know it. He loves spicy, jalapeno anything about as much as I love chocolate, peanut butter anything. Definitely squeal-worthy.
I kept some of the jalapeño seeds and added a pinch of crushed red pepper to the chili, just for the men. I was worried it would make it too spicy for Brett’s mom and I and we’d have to suffer through it or bail and go grab a sandwich. It definitely had some heat, but surprisingly, we both wanted more. And we were all a little sad to see the bottom of the soup pot get scooped clean.
It has the kind of heat and good, rich flavor that keeps you coming back for more, even when your mouth is slightly on fire. I even saw a tear coming from my father-in-law eyes. Ahem, excuse me, he called it “a little bit of awesome,” not a tear. I think that means it was pretty darn good in his book.
Might I mention this chili has an entire brick of cream cheese in it? It does! And it makes it so creamy and delicious. But consider yourselves warned ladies. It is not kind on the thighs. But an occasional meal with an entire brick of cream cheese in it is totally okay, right? (Please tell me I’m right–I had two bowls!)
If you’re looking for an awesome chili that will literally warm you up on a cold, winter night. This. is. it!
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 5 jalapeno peppers diced, seeds removed (leave some seeds for extra heat)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 + 1/4 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 (10 oz) can dice tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 + 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14 oz) can cannelloni or navy beans, drained
- 1 (14 oz) can corn, drained
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 pound bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled, divided
- In a large saucepan (deep enough for soup) heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, jalepeno, and garlic until tender.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then add to the saucepan adding another tablespoon of olive oil as well. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Toss chicken and seasonings together and lightly brown chicken on all sides.
- Stir in can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, corn, and cannelloni beans and increase heat to bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Stir in 1/2 of the crumbled bacon. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper as needed. **Add more chicken broth if too thick.
- Serve and garnish with cheddar cheese and the rest of the crumbled bacon.
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice (just ever so slightly)
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