Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken & Kielbasa Chili

Right from the first sentence, I must thank fellow food blogger, Drick Perry. He is a true Southern gentleman whose food "makes yo' tongue fly outta yo' mouth and smack yo' brains out." Drick hails from Mobile, Alabama and his specialty is Southern Hertiage Recipes, Gulf Coast Seafood, Creole, Cajun & Mexican meals. I thoroughly enjoy everything he posts and hopes he continues to bless us with many more recipes.
This winter in NY was a particularly severe one, and I searched for stick-to-your-ribs, comfort food to cook. I came across Drick's recipe for White Bean & Roasted Chicken Chili on his blog, Drick's Rambling Cafe and knew I had to try it. It was beyond good and a keeper that now has a special place in my "favorites file". The first time I made this chili, I stuck closer to the original...with just a little less spices for my DH. It was memorable.
On Sundays, I usually serve homemade tomato sauce with meatballs, sausage, or braciole over pasta, but decided that Drick's chili would be perfect on this rainy, cool spring day. Since it's my second go at this recipe, I added my own tweaks. I hope Drick will appreciate the changes as this NY gal makes this recipe her "own" and tailors it to the tastes of her family. Thanks, Drick, for the great recipe and feeding my passion for good food through your blog.

There's nothing like Rotisserie chicken. I was able to skip the Roasted Chicken for Stews part of the recipe and save time (which Drick suggests). This isn't the only reason I love Rotisserie chicken.....the meat is always flavorful, moist, and tender. There's something about the taste that can't be described or duplicated in an ordinary oven. I love the taste so much that I treated myself to The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook by Michelle A. Anderson.

Diced tomatoes
& Beans
"My" chicken chili isn't white chili but the more traditional red, nor is it spicy. I'd rather my guests..ahem, husband...add some cayenne pepper or more chili powder to their dish than not be able to enjoy it because it's too spicy for their liking. I added tomato paste so it would thicken to the consistency I'm most familiar with and enjoy. I originally thought that 4 cups of chicken broth was too much and would make it soupy, but as the chili set, it thickened beautifully.  Don't gasp, but I'm not a big fan of bell peppers or should I say, bell peppers aren't a big fan of me, so I used a small can of diced green chile by mild or with heat..can you guess which one I used? The kielbasa adds that smoky, down-south flavor to the dish. I used Polska Kielbasa Lite made with turkey, pork & beef by Hillshire Farm. I didn't use oregano, coriander or jalapeno pepper as Drick suggested. Please feel free to add or omit any ingredient that doesn't suit your taste or don't have on hand.

Be sure to remove the skin of the chicken and discard any fat. I pulled the skin off in large pieces and added it to the chili- no fat or small pieces-while I took the chicken off the bones. I removed the skin from the pot just before I added the chicken. The skin has great flavor....all those spices making the chicken so darn good.  The juices that dripped off the chicken forms a dark, rich gel. Don't forget to add this to the pot, too. The extra flavor is ta-die-for.

No one knows when the first Chili was cooked...perhaps well before Columbus came to America. It was traditionally made with pork shoulder and beef. Some say, horse meat, but I rather not think that. It didn't contain beans. Now it has it's own "Society".  ICS-International Chili Society with World Championship Chili Cookoffs began in 1967. You can learn about  ICS at his link. Chili Con Carne & Verde are the best known. But there's vegetarian chili, seafood chili, hot dog chili, jambalaya chili and more. It can be throat-closing, lips numbing 5 alarm hot or mild (like mine) chili. Did you know, October is National Chili month? If you're interested in any of the chili I mentioned click on So, soak those beans, brown that meat, chop the onions and peppers and make a pot of chili today.

Chicken Chili With Kielbasa

1 (48 oz) or 3 lb Rotisserie Chicken
14 oz ring of Kielbasa sausage, cut in circles then in half
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1- 4 oz can diced green chile ( Ortega hot or mild)
1- 32oz box of chicken broth (4 cups) 
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2- 15 oz cans of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1- 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
3 oz tomato paste (1/2 of can)
Cheddar or Longhorn cheese or your favorite mix of cheeses
NO salt needed

In a large stockpot, brown kielbasa. Add onions and saute until almost clear then add garlic and saute until golden. Add diced green chile. Stir and cook 3 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder. Stir. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pull rotisserie chicken from bones and cut into chunks. Add beans to broth. Mix. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir. If you want to add large pieces of skin to pot do so now. Bring back to a simmer for 30 minutes.  If added, remove skin from pot and discard.  Add chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

**Serve over rice or corn bread with tortilla chips on the side.
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Remember To Make Memories At The Table


  1. whoa! You didn't waste any time getting this posted. It looks incredible, especially with the melted cheese on top. I've got to get going on my own variation!

    I might even add a Cincinnati twist (serve it on spaghetti instead of rice).

  2. Hi Dan: Yes, delicious...thank you for your comment. Spaghetti with chili, I've seen this on Food Shows. Not sure if I can get used to that, though I wouldn't pass it up. I think corn bread works the best! I have a great recipe for it on this blog: Sunny With A Chance of Corn Pudding. Nice chatting with you. N