chicken apple chili, sans pictures

so i’ve been wanting to work on my chicken apple chili recipe… a couple of years ago, i made rachael ray’s version – it was heavy, cheesy, and somewhat bland. that chili fail has stuck in my mind since, as chili is pretty hard to screw up. and chicken apple chili is worth the effort, because it has the possibility to be a perfect summer dish – light, and somehow still hearty… the trick for me was using a chicken apple sausage as the base, rather than chicken breasts. certainly, you could use chicken breast, but it can get too done after simmering in the chili for 25minutes, leaving the texture a little off.

after boasting about my recipe on facebook (i’m not above a little shameless self promotion), a friend requested it. so, here i am. zoë is chasing lightning bugs around the backyard, leaving me a minute to write. here’s what i made tonight – maybe some pictures tomorrow when i get out the leftovers.

we enjoyed the slight bit of sourness to cut the sweet of the apples and richness of the sausage – i used 2T lime juice when i made it, as i like my food a little more sour. the sour cream also helps that as well. this is still a recipe in progress, but instead of being gluey, or overly rich, it was fresh tasting from the lime and apples.

Chicken Apple Chili, serves 6

ingredients:

1T butter

1 cup chopped vidalia onion (from one med-large onion)

4 links chicken apple sausage, chopped into 1/2 inch rounds (we used al fresco, with the casing removed, approximately a pound)

2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices. i used pink lady apples, but something a little less firm after cooking would be nice too, like a gala or fuji

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs fresh thyme, thyme leaves removed from stem, about 1T

2t ground cumin

1/4-1/2t cayenne, to taste

4C chicken broth

2 cans cannellini beans, one can rinsed and drained, and liquid retained on the other

1 bay leaf

1-2T lime juice, to taste.

1/4C reduced fat sour cream

salt, black pepper to taste

directions:

heat a 5-6qt pot over med-high heat, and add butter. when butter has melted, add chopped onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent. add sausage, and stir to combine. cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring only occasionally to get some color on the sausage.

add thyme, cumin and pepper, and stir to combine. saute for 1 minute, and then add apples. stir again to combine and add chicken broth, beans and reserved bean liquid and bay leaf. bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. simmer partly covered for 20 minutes, until apples are tender and chili has thickened some. apples have pectin in them which will help with the thickening, but it is also okay to serve this as soup without the thickness of a traditional chili.

remove bay leaf, and add lime juice. stir in sour cream, and taste for salt, adding up 1t as necessary. add a couple of grinds of black pepper, and serve.

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