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Recipe File: Buffalo Chicken Chili
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:26 pm    Post subject: Recipe File: Buffalo Chicken Chili Reply with quote

I love spicy buffalo chicken wings. I also love chili. And yes, I love to cook too. So when the company I work for (Boeing) presented a chili cook-off contest a while back, I took the challenge to heart (and the drawing board!). There are a few versions of buffalo chicken chili circulating the web, but I came up with a variation that I think adds much more texture, intense flavor, and plenty of heat while minimizing the labor and time. And best of all, this chili recipe is quite healthy. (Oh, and I won the cook-off with this chili.)

I did follow the traditional "Texas" style of chili making and did not include beans. This recipe is very thick, savory, and meaty. One of my variations is to use two types of chicken meat for added flavor and texture. I use the traditional ground chicken, and I also include whole shredded chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken. If you prefer beans in your chili, please feel free to add them (I think pinto beans would be very good). I included plenty of aromatics (vegetables) cooked until soft and brown, and a good dose of Louisiana hot pepper sauce for heat. The addition of beer adds some flavor but mostly assist in deglazing the pan which is very important in this recipe since I recommend cooking this chili in a stainless steel pan (do not use a non-stick pan) in order to generate lots of those yummy brown bits (fond) that stick to the bottom of the pan (which is always a good thing!).

Starting with a store bought rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken from the bones (discarding the skin), and temporarily store the meat in a bowl. If you feel the need to roast your own chicken go for it, but in this case, I think a store bought roasted chicken saves lots of time and energy.

Some people (like my daughter) prefer to opt for larger cuts of meat and cut the chicken into cubes rather than shred. This option is up to you. I prefer the shredded meat because it adds a thicker texture to the chili, and also adds more surface area to blend with sauce.


For the aromatics (vegetables), start with 2 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 1 red bell pepper, and 1 medium onion.

The addition of diced jalapeño pepper(s) is optional for extra heat.

Cut the vegetables into a fine dice.

(Discard the seeds of the red bell pepper.)

Once again, the fine dice adds more surface area to the chili, which adds a more thicker texture, and richer flavor when sautéed.


Next, mince 5 cloves of garlic.

For the spices, you will need 2 Tbs of Chili Powder, 3 tsp of ground cumin, and 1 tsp of ground coriander.

Add additional spices (plus salt and pepper) as your taste desires when the chili is completed.


Finally you will need one 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, one 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of Louisiana cayenne hot pepper sauce (give or take), and one 12 oz bottle of beer for deglazing the pan.


Start by cooking the ground chicken meat in a med-high heatedpan with a little olive oil.

I prefer a stainless steel pan so that the meat will form little browned bits (called fond) that will stick to the bottom of the pan and provide lots of concentrated flavor later on.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.

Make sure the meat gets good and brown (Browning = Flavor).


When the meat is cooked, reserve the chicken for later use.

Use the same pan to brown the vegetables in the next step, in order to get the browned bits released from the bottom of the pan.

Add 3 Tbs of butter to the pan and cook the vegetables over med-high heat, for at least 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, tender, and the onions start to brown.

Once again, add some salt (and/or pepper).

With a wooden spoon, scrape up all of the brown bits from the cooked meat which will add intense flavor to the chili.

Browning equals flavor, so do not rush this step.


Note the brown bottom on the stainless steel pan when you are finished cooking the meat and vegetables. This is pure flavor!

The beer will be used to deglaze the pan, and add this concentrated flavor to the chili.


Add the cooked chicken and vegetables back to the pan and clear a spot in the center of the pan to cook the spices for 30 seconds.

Add about 1 Tbs of olive oil to the center of the pan then add the garlic and spices. Stir around and cook for about 30 seconds.


At this point, the bottom of the pan will be very brown with food and spices sticking.

Add 12oz of a good beer to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan, and dissolve all of the brown bits stuck on the bottom.


Finally add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and hot sauce.

Simmer to the desired thickness that you prefer.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add additional spices if desired.


Garnish with your favorite condiments.


I prefer sour cream, chopped green onions, and served with a warm bread stick.



Buffalo Chicken Chili (serves 6)
1 Tbs. (15 mL) olive oilsaute until brownedcombinesimmer 5 minsimmer 15 min or until thickenedseason
1 lb. (450 g) ground chicken
salt & pepper
2 Tbs. (30 g) unsalted buttersaute until soft
salt
3 celery ribschop fine
2 carrots
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
5 garlic clovestoast 30 in pan
2 Tbs. (15 g) chili powder
2 tsp. (4 g) ground cumin
1 tsp. (2 g) ground coriander
1 Tbs. (15 mL) olive oil
1 rotisserie chickenshred meat
12 oz. (355 mL) beer (good micro brew)
1/2 cup (120 mL) cayenne pepper hot sauce
15 oz. can (425 g) tomato sauce
14.5-oz. (410 g) can diced tomatoes
salt & pepper
12 oz. (355 mL) beerdrink while chili simmers

Tony Olson has a passion for cooking and playing around with cooking gadgetry. He is currently experimenting with rice-cookers and the plethora of tasty dishes that can be created in these one pot wonders.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This recipe sounds just great !

Though I have a couple of questions if you don't mind.
First : do you have any idea of how much meat you eventually get from a "standard" (roasted) chiken ?
Second : Any replacement idea for the Hot Sauce (fresh chili maybe ?)

Cheers,

-drk
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards to your first question, some rough guidelines for a "standard" roasted chicken size are:

One rotisserie chicken will give you about 4 cups of shredded chicken, both white and dark meat (no skin). The typical chicken translates into about 12 ounces of light meat and 8 ounces of dark meat (no skin), which gives you a total of:

* 1,037 calories
* 166 g protein
* 0 g carbohydrate
* 34 g fat
* 10.4 g saturated fat
* 13.7 g monounsaturated fat
* 8.2 g polyunsaturated fat
* 505 mg cholesterol
* 0 g fiber
* 451 mg sodium (unless some sodium is added to season the chicken before roasting)
* 30% calories from fat

Keep in mind, that there is probably about a +/- 20% error on this, given the different sizes available, and you can easily increase or decrease the amount of chicken for this recipe, though you may need more tomato sauce if you add more.

For the hot sauce replacement, there are many things you could use. Your typical Louisiana hot sauce is very HOT, but you could water it down, or better yet use a salsa of your choice. Even the Heinz chili sauce that comes in a bottle is pretty tame, but tasty. My advice would be to start with less of whatever you use, and add more until you get the heat you are looking for.
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this very complete answer.

Though for the hot sauce replacement I should say I wasn't as concerned by "heat" than by the fact that hot sauces of any kind are a bit hard to find around here (france that is).
But salsa might be easier to get ...

-drk
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Kelly H
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:07 pm    Post subject: substitution for beer Reply with quote

I think my husband, an engineer and a fan of all things spicy, will love this recipe. For religious reasons I need a substitution for the beer. In most dishes I have used beef broth. I was wondering, since this is a chicken dish, if chicken broth can be used instead of beer.

Thanks, Kelly
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 10:05 am    Post subject: substitution for beer Reply with quote

While beer is a natural product for deglazing (a combination of acid and alcohol), you can most certainly use any liquid with a little more scrubbing effort...like chicken stock or even water.

Wine would also work.

Keep in mind, the alcohol content will be evaporated in the way it is cooked off in this recipe.

Vinegar (a strong acid) also makes a nice deglazing agent, and adds some nice flavor. A nice white wine or champagne vinegar, diluted with some water, would act as a nice deglazing agent for flavor instead of beer in this recipe.
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Joe Healy
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Buffalo Chicken Chili Reply with quote

I like the idea of adding pinto beans. Can you help me with the deatails? Canned or fresh, when to add, etc.
Thanks
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: substituting beans Reply with quote

Pinto beans would work well, or if you wanted a south western flare you could use black beans as well.

For simplicity, you could just use the pre-cooked beans in a can, and add as many as you wish. If you do this, be sure to drain off that "goo" that the beans are soaked in when they come out of a can (that's nasty stuff!). Just use a strainer to do this. Since canned beans are pre-cooked, you would add them at the very end. You would also have to add some additional tomato sauce and/or water since the beans are starchy and would thicken up the chili (which is already fairly thick).

Or, if your a purist, you could soak the uncooked beans over night, and/or cook them per the instructions they come with, then add them at the end.


I think the black beans would give this chili some nice color contrast.
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brentium



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:34 pm    Post subject: Sounds Delicious! Reply with quote

Been reading this blog for a while and have been using a lot of the information and recipes you've posted. Thanks for all the good work, keep it up!

I'll definitely be trying this recipe out soon and will let you know how it goes!
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Joe Healy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject: substituting beans Reply with quote

thanks for the feedback re beans. I especially like the idea of the color contrast with the black beans.
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SoNotBuffalo
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:31 am    Post subject: So not Buffalo Reply with quote

This is SO NOT Buffalo Chicken Chili - You absolutely cannot substitute the hot sauce if you're going to call this "Buffalo" anything. As a matter of fact, it can't be anything other than Frank's Red Hot. You're also missing a fair amount more butter, not for cooking vegetables in, just as part of the sauce. Tomatoes don't belong anywhere near Buffalo sauce. Neither do all those chili spices, coriander, cumin, but I guess without them it wouldn't be chili. Unholy bastardization, xP
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: so not buffalo Reply with quote

Well now hang on there a second Buffalo cowboy... you stated:

>As a matter of fact, you can't use anything other than Frank's Red Hot.

Now scroll up to the recipe, and take a look at the picture that has the Hot Sauce in it. It is in fact "FRANKS RED HOT" (thank you... thank you very much)

My point was that some people may like to use something with less heat. And we can allow that.... can't we?

In regards to the butter, I know what your saying. Authentic buffalo wings are dripping with butter and Franks hot sauce. Ok... my bad. I tried to make this recipe a little more healthy. Give it a try... I think you'll see a good compromise. If not, you can "Paula Dean-ize" your version, and add 4 sticks of butter to your pan.... enjoy. Smile

sigh... always a tough guy in the crowd! LOL
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LovesChili
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Crock Pot Reply with quote

I am setting up a chili cook off in my office (also a bunch of engineers)and I found this recipe...can I just throw the finished product into a crock pot to keep it warm all day at the office or would that make all the vegies get mooshy? How did you keep it warm at your office cook-off?
Thanks!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:18 am    Post subject: Fantastic Reply with quote

Absolutely delicious, thank you for sharing. We substituted chicken stock for beer, blended the veggies a bit after they were cooked (and the tomatoes prior to their addition) as one of us around here isn't a fan of veggie "chunks", and added a drained can of kidney beans about 5 minutes before finishing. This is now our go-to chili recipe.
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: How did you keep it warm at your office cook-off? Reply with quote

A crock pot works just great, that's what I did. Just make sure to give it a good stir from time to time while it is being kept warm.

I recently made this again and added canned black beans (drain the goo from them in the can), and it was really good. I think sweet corn could also be added for color contrast and flavor.

Good luck.
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