Chicken Chili: Always the Right Answer

On any given winter day in my house, if I ask the innocent question cooks across the earth are asking — i.e. What should we have for dinner tonight? — I can pretty much always count on Andy suggesting some kind of healthy, simple seafood; I would bet the house on Abby requesting — please, Mom, puh-leeeeeeze, I’ll kiss you 99 trillion zillion times — Trader Joe’s frozen pork or chicken shumai (infinitely more exciting for her than the homemade kind); and for Phoebe to suggest chili. It doesn’t matter what kind of chili — vegetarian, beef, white, chicken, spicy, mild — she has had a love affair with the dish ever since we gave her a bowl of the turkey version (plus toppings, of course!) when she was about four or five. And so this past Saturday morning — after a long week off from school, a week where she lounged around patiently reading all the Babysitter’s Club books she got for her birthday, a week where her sister had Taylor’s Swift’s “Umbrella” on repeat for all our waking hours, a week where her mom promised her a trip to the ice rink every day staring Monday but somehow failed to make it happen — when I asked the dinner question, I knew exactly what the answer had to be.

Chicken Chili with Corn and Black Beans
Doesn’t it make you wistful seeing corn in here? Don’t get sad! Get a bag of Trader Joe’s organic frozen kernels! I’m always amazed at how sweet they are. Phoebe stirred them in with her new Sharpie-monogrammed wooden spoon.

Saute one large onion (chopped on a cutting board) and 2 cloves of garlic (minced) in olive oil. Add 4 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 large (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, a dash of oregano, thyme, cayenne, 1 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Nestle in three large chicken breasts, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and shred using two forks. (There is no precise science to this, nor should there be!) Add back to the pot along with a cup of black beans, and a generous handful of frozen corn. Serve over rice (or not) with toppings such as mashed avocadoshredded cheddar, sour cream, tortilla chips, or chopped cilantro.

This post has been sponsored by Butcher Block Co.’s cutting boards.

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We just gave our 9-month-old turkey chili for the first time last night — she’s very happy to eat whatever we’re having, but I assumed chili would be a bit much for her at this point. But no! She happily gobbled it up and I sent some of the leftovers in her daycare lunch today, along with some avocado chunks for her to nibble on.

Jan @ Family Bites

We’re having black bean, corn and goat cheese tacos for dinner tonight, and my kid’s enthusiam over seeing corn on the menu was shocking. We’re using frozen, like you.


do you mean Taylor’s cover of Rihanna? (the now-that-i-have-your-at-tinch-in one?) or some other? please advise.


Thanks for the great recipe! I made this for dinner tonight and it scored an empty bowl for my 3 yr old (aka the pickiest eater in the world). He loved it! And so did my husband and I! Love this blog! Thanks again!


654 – I don’t know from Rihanna (yet) but it’s the awful one with the chorus that goes “You can stand under my umbrella ella ella ella ella ella ella ella ella ay ay ay ay ay ay ay.”
You can see why the week felt so long for poor Phoebe, no?

Sybil Greene

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