Black Bean Chicken Chili with Tomatillo Salsa & Crema

Whew!  That is one long title for a recipe!  However, I will tell you that all elements are so amazingly delicious and really make the dish go from really good to crazy good so bear with me on this. I have previously blogged about how I love a one pot meal and one of the main reasons I love meals like this is because I can re-heat them and often times these one-pot wonders actually taste better when they are served reheated.  This chili recipe definitely falls into that category.

The Black Bean & Chicken Chili I came up with here is super simple and utilizes many pantry and refrigerator staples that I generally keep on hand.  I pureed the chili veggies to ensure that my sons would eat the chili and I actually preferred the smoother consistency as well.  I decided to add tomatillo salsa for a refreshing tang and I have to be honest, I absolutely love the color of tomatillo salsa.  I added an apple on a whim and did I fell in love.  The apple adds a refreshing element that really elevated the salsa adding an additional level of complexity.   The addition of crema just makes the whole dish come together.  Cool and creamy, the crema balances the dish perfectly.
I also have to add that my hubby loved this dish, which always makes me happy!  I absolutely hate it when I cook a meal and I can tell that nobody likes it.  Surely I am not alone in that arena.  🙂  Sooooo, without further ado here is the recipe. I hope you like it as much as my family enjoyed it.


Black Bean & Chicken Chili with Tomatillo Salsa & Crema


Chili Ingredients
  • 1 lb. dried black beans (soak and cook according to directions on the bag) or 3 – 14.5 oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5  pounds chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with peppers
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube or packet
  • Crema
Tomatillo Salsa Ingredients
  • 6 tomatillos – peeled, rinsed and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 1/2 green apple cut into chunks
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
Chili Directions
If using fresh beans, cook according to the package directions.


Heat a large stock pot on medium-high and add the canola oil.  Let the pan heat up a bit – about 2 minutes or so.  This will give you the lovely golden color on your chicken.  Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken chunks with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add the chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden and just cooked through.


Get your blender out and add the shallot, garlic and Rotel tomatoes.  Puree until smooth and add this mixture to the stock pot along with about 2 cups of water and the bouillon.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook the tomato mixture for about 20 minutes.


After 20 minutes add the beans and chicken.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes.  If your chili is looking too thick add a bit more water and if it looks a bit too runny then let the chili simmer for a bit longer until you reach your desired consistency.


Tomatillo Salsa Directions


Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse.  Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper as desired.
To assemble, add the chili to the bowl, top with salsa and drizzle crema on top.  Enjoy!

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