I wish it could be Chilli Friday everyday…
Fridays always call for a treat meal and our household are big fans of a Chilli in most of it’s guises. While the real thing calls for beef as per tradition, with an eye to reducing my red meat I’ve long since moved to playing around with other meats for my Chilli fix. My go-to chilli is a slow cooked turkey leg version, with the meat shredded off the bone into the dark broth. Additions of stout or chocolate, if available, help to persuade eaters that they’re not eating ‘dry’ turkey. I suppose it’s more a lean pulled pork than your traditional chilli but who’s nitpicking. This recipe for Pulled Chipotle Chicken from Gizzi Esrkine’s Healthy Appetite did indeed whet my own healthy appetite. Close enough in form to my own recipe but with her cheffy twists.
Opting not to joint a whole chicken as suggested. I used a variety of thighs and drumsticks. These were painstakingly browned off in oil which gave me both oil burns and the disgrace of running around opening all the windows after setting the fire alarm off.. twice. It is much less fiddly browning one or two large turkey legs than 12 chicken pieces. The onions are then cooked slowly in the chicken oil, followed by the spices, then the fresh tomatoes; then the stock. The chicken is then added back to the pan and cooked on a lowish heat for about 50 mins with the adzuki beans added toward the end. At the end of the 50 mins, the chicken is removed and shredded while the sauce reduces. All are given a good season, combined and served.
By this stage, the whole flat now stinks of chicken and spices.
It is a mouth watering aroma, just not on all my fresh laundry. True to expectation, the Pulled Chipotle Chicken is incredible. By far the best pulled chicken I’ve eaten. If Burrito bars made their chicken like this I would get lunch their errryday. Praise indeed. Gizzi’s spicing is on point. I used dried Ancho chills instead of Chipotle because I already had them, and they added a gentle warmth. Although listed in the ingredients, the chipotle weren’t in the method so I just chopped them and added in with the fresh tomatoes which worked. The cloves, bay and cinnamon gave it a real depth that I worried might be missing without the richer ingredients. The Pink Pickled Onions provide sweetness that would have been needed though, an inspired garnish. Not integral but definitely recommended.
I served it with some sweet potato wedges, plain rice and salad greens. I know the sweet Chilli, sweet potatoes and Pink Pickled Onions might sound like a sugary step too far, but it was Friday and I wasn’t having dessert. Gizzi recommends cauliflower rice and avocado to accompany her Pulled Chipotle Chicken, but I wasn’t feeling that virtuous at the end of a long week.
Not if, but when I make this recipe again, I’ll probably used canned bean rather than soaking and cooking dried because I’m lazy; substitute a can of chopped tomatoes for ease; and reduce the volume of stock to around 300ml, as between the tomatoes and the supermarket chicken there was a lot of extra liquid in the pan that took longer to reduce down; I also added a table spoon of maple syrup for sweetness to balance out the sharp tomatoes available in March. Oh and once cooked, you can just squeeze out the cooked half-garlic into the pan. Minor quibbles to suit myself, but a really, REALLY delicious dinner. MORE delicious the next day. Make DOUBLE. This Pulled Chipotle Chicken really does warrant the capitals.