Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chicken Chili & Rosemary and Garlic Toast

Chicken Chili


3 Uncooked boneless chicken breasts
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (any color is fine, yellow for a nice flare of color)
1 clove of garlic, chopped and crushed with salt
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 chopped medium-sized tomatoes
6 cups of cooked Pinto Beans
2 cups of cooked Black Beans
1 teaspoon Cumin
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
Salt, to taste
black Pepper, to taste


Take the chicken breasts and using a fork, poke the chicken on both sides. Then taking a little salt, pepper, cumin and chili pepper, rub the seasonings into the chicken, getting as far into the meat as you can. After this, place the chicken, 6 cups of water, half the onion and peppers into a stock pan and bring to a boil on medium heat and cover.

After an hour or 2 check the chicken to see if it's fully cooked. May be done sooner depending on chicken size. Use a stem thermometer to check the chicken (you're looking for 165 degrees Fahrenheit) and once fully cooked take the chicken and a pair of forks, using them to shred the chicken on a cutting board. Leave the broth simmering on low heat.

After the chicken is shredded, take a frying pan and heat a teaspoon of EVOO, tossing in the garlic and the rest of the onion and peppers. Lightly brown the veggies, then add half the seasonings and the chicken as well as the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat until simmering.

After simmering for 10 minutes, add the chicken and pepper mix to the simmering stock and bring back to a boil over medium heat. Let boil for 15 minutes then turn the stock down to medium-low heat and letting it simmer for another 20 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle and absorb into the chicken. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste.

Add the beans and the rest of the seasonings and stir and blend the beans into the stock. Add any seasonings for your own taste and unless your a person that likes heat, do not add anymore Crushed Red Pepper. Let this simmer until serving but no shorter then an hour or until the beans are heated all the way through. This chili should come out a little on the thin side, almost like a soup. The liquid have a red tint but basically be transparent.

If you would prefer to have this chili a little thicker, take a 1/2 cup of the cooked beans out and mashing them up with a ladle full of stock and mixing it back into the chili.

Now for some nice toast to go with this.

Rosemary and Garlic-infused Olive Oil


3 Twigs of fresh Rosemary
2 cloves of Garlic
1 pint of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a glass bottle <---this is important, must be glass bottle


Take the Rosemary twigs and strip off the leaves. Using the back of your blade/knife, hit the leaves, bruising them and bringing the sap/oil from the leaves out. Hit them several times, being careful not to over it and creating a mash. Once the bruising is done, use your knife to coarsely chop the rosemary.

Set this aside and taking the cloves of garlic, slice off each end and peeling them. Coarsely chop the garlic, sprinkle a little salt over it. Chop a few more times. Then lay your knife on one side of the garlic and pressing firmly run your sharp edge over the garlic a little at a time, effectively crushing the garlic with the salt absorbing the oils. Once at a nice coarse, thick consistency, your done.

Take a sauce pan and pour the entire bottle of EVOO into it and place it on medium to low heat. Set the empty bottle aside. Stir and test the oil every few seconds or so with your finger. You want to allow the oil to heat up but not to the point where you can't touch it. Once the oil hits a certain temperature, the quality of it will drop. So at a point just above warm, turn off the heat and toss in the garlic and the rosemary, stirring to allow the oil and the herbs to mingle throughout.

Taking the empty bottle, funnel the oil into the bottle. Since the oil expanded during the heating process, you may need to allow about 15 minutes for the oil to cool to get all the oil and the herbs into the bottle. Allow the oil to sit overnight for a nice flavor. This oil will keep for about 6 months.

For bread, I like to use French bread or Shepherd's bread, sliced. For this chili, try Shepherd's bread. There are two methods for toasting: Broiler for thin slices of bread and Barbeque for thick slices of bread. Using a brush, spread the oil with some of the herbs onto the bread. For the broiling method for toasting, spread the oil on one side of the thin slices of bread and place on cookie sheet under your broiler until toasted brown, a little on the dark brown side would be the best. For Barbeque, brush the oil on both sides of the thickly sliced bread and toast over your open flame.

Serve the chili hot, with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream and the freshly toasted bread. And let your mouth enjoy and your tongue rejoice!


Sometimes my measurements are not always what is needed for a recipe. Keep in mind my blog title. I try to make sure the measurements are approximations of what I use. Sometimes I just know from taste and look what is needed. I reccommend that you keep a small tablespoon-sized bowl or dipper nearby and continually test your soups and other recipes. And if you're having a hard time getting the seasonings right take a regular bowl and fill with your soup or other recipe. Add varying seasonings or what you think may be needed until you find your balance then add what is needed to the real recipe, testing constantly. making your test bowl allows for the fact that you may put too much of one seasoning and this helps protect your current work.

So until next post, Mangiar Bene!

Friday, October 29, 2010

After the Move!

Well, I fell behind and I promised myself I wouldn't. Between moving from our apartment into a nice condo and work and stress and World of Warcraft, I placed the blog on the back burner.

But no MORE!!

Every week I shall be posting a new recipe or at least a post of something! I will definitely stay on the topic of food and drinks of course.

By the way, moving from the apartment kitchen, which was itsy-bitsy, where my wife and I had to kiss just to walk by each other and into the condo kitchen, where we can dance to our hearts content without ever touching, is saa-weeet! But honestly, who wouldn't want to be in the same room as her and not ''accidentally'' bump into her. *wink, wink*

A couple weeks after we moved, we had a few friends/co-workers over and I tested a new recipe for Chicken Chili and a Rosemary and Garlic infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil spread on sliced fresh bread and toasted in the broiler. Fantastic! Those recipes will be the first up starting next week.

Until next RMDM post, Mangiar bene! (in case you're wondering if I was swearing you out or just plain nuts (which is usually the case), that is Italian for 'Good Eating!')