Scary Spicy Chicken Chili

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Sometimes we make life decisions our parents do not agree with.

Dating the Bad Boy in high school? Check.

The pierced lip for 4 days in college? I’m still thankful that fell out on its own and therefore saved me from my own pride refusing to admit how stupid/slutty it looked.

My mom still disagrees with the whole “running too far for no reason” thing. But that’s not her biggest gripe. No, not by a long shot.

“If it’s not killing you why would you stop eating it. Gluten is delicious and that’s all there is to it.”

I love my mom dearly, but she certainly is not one for denying yourself anything delicious. Of course, she’s 50 now and only 5lbs heavier than she was in high school having never worked out a day in her life. Nor does she intend to. She eats what she wants, when she wants and however much she wants. She’s the foodie of all foodies in my life, and the thought that her daughter would have food allergies that meant she could not indulge herself in delicious meals of all kinds… Well.. she’s pretty much still in denial.

When I explained to her that my doctor suggested I’m gluten sensitive and not allergic she went off about how this is another fad diet and in ten years we’ll find out gluten is the cure for cancer. A bit overdramatic, yes, but that’s how she is with food. Go big or go home.

So when Sunday rolled around and I wanted to make Jim a nice “Welcome Home” meal my mothers food genes kicked in. I wanted the flavor to be undeniable. I also wanted to be able to eat it with him and truly enjoy the meal. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve found some amazing gluten-free options. But when you spend the better part of 25 years loving every carb known to man, giving them up is a bit of a buzz-kill.

I flipped through my Pinterest boards looking for something delicious to make him on a perfect autumn Sunday. Football came on and suddenly it hit me… Chili. But not any Chili. Ghost Chili.

If you’ve never heard of it, ghost chiles are one of the spiciest chiles on the planet. They are burn-your-face-off-sweat -in-the-middle-of-winter-type-of-hot. In the good way.

A few weeks ago when I’d gone apple picking at a local farm with a few of my girlfriends I came across this gem at the farm stand.


When there’s a warning you know it’s good.

Knowing this was still in the cabinet I knew exactly what to do. Here’s what you’re going to need.


  • 2-TBS Chili Powder
  • 1-TBS Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 TBS Red Cayenne Pepper
  • 2lbs Chicken Breast
  • 3- 10.5oz cans of diced tomatoes with chili peppers
  • 2- 15oz cans dark red kidney beans
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Large White Onion
  • 2- 6oz cans of Tomato Paste
  • Half a jar of Ghost-Chili Salsa

First, dice the bell pepper and onion. Add those to the slow cooker and let them sweat on low for 15-20min. Just enough so the juices start to run from them, but they’re still nice and crisp.

I like my veggies to still have a little firmness to them in my chili. Otherwise, what's the point of dicing?

I like my veggies to still have a little firmness to them in my chili. Otherwise, what’s the point of dicing?

After the veggies have had their alone time, add in the chicken breasts. You’re going to add them in by hand and make sure they are tossed with the veggies. It’s important for the chicken to be very close to the bottom of the cooker so it cooks through in time. Nothing worse than pink chicken. No no no no no. No.

Like they're best friends.

Like they’re best friends.

Once the chicken and veggies are cozy, add in the rest of the ingredients. Any order you like. We won’t get picky.

Mmmmm.... 4 hours from Chili...

Mmmmm…. 4 hours from Chili…

Now here is the tough part: Turn the slow cooker to low, and wait FOUR HOURS.

I know, smelling this throughout the house for four hours is cruel and unusual. Just trust me. It will be so worth it.

After the four hours have passed and you’re appropriately salivating, pick the out the chicken breasts with a pair of tongs. Shred the chicken with two forks, which won’t take you long since it will be basically falling apart at that point anyways.

Add the shredded chicken back into the pot, mix and wait another 15 minutes with the cooker on warm. You don’t want to cook it anymore at this point- just let the shredded chicken absorb a little more moisture and flavor.

Now you’re going to take one whiff of this when it’s ready and think “This is going to be too hot, I’ve made a terrible mistake. What was I thinking, adding ghost chiles? That stupid girl on the internet led me down a dangerous road! She was the type of girl I was warned about at school!”

Rest assured, I would not steer you wrong. Yes, this chili is spicy. But it is not overwhelmingly spicy. The great thing about this chili is you still taste all of the different flavors without the spice overwhelming it.

Add a little cheese to the top, let it melt then see for yourself.



I’ll forget all about this little lapse of trust you just had.

You’re welcome.




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