Apr 10, 2009

Slow Cooker Chili

Stephanie at A Year of CrockPotting highly recommends her Original Taco Soup, so I had high expectations. I was a little disappointed, but only because I was expecting "soup," not chili. It tasted great and made a lot. Here's the recipe, with my modifications.

Slowcooker Taco "Soup", aka Chili (adapted from A Year of CrockPotting)
Serves 8-10 (maybe 12, it makes a lot!)

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*
3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet taco seasoning)
1 tablespoon dried parsley**
1 teaspoon dried dill**
2 teaspoons onion powder**
1 teaspoon kosher salt**
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder**
1/4 teaspoon black pepper**
2 15-oz. cans of kidney beans
2 15-oz. cans of pinto beans
12 oz. frozen corn
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes (free after coupon a couple of months ago)
2 8-oz. tomato sauce (free after coupon and rebate last month)

*The original recipe calls for one pound of browned ground turkey or beef. I happened to have some previously cooked and shredded chicken breasts that I'd used for chicken nachos in the freezer that worked beautifully in this dish. You can also omit the meat and make this vegetarian.

**In place of these ingredients, you can use one packet of ranch dressing mix. I adapted Frugal Upstate's homemade ranch dressing recipe when I saw that the ranch dressing packets contain MSG.

Note: I used a 4-quart slow cooker - Amazon doesn't carry my beloved West Bend anymore so I'm thinking it's no longer available :(

1. Spray the crock with nonstick cooking spray. Add the meat to the crock.
2. Sprinkle the taco seasoning, parsley, dill, onion powder, salt, garlic powder and pepper on top of the meat.
3. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the crock.
4. Add the corn, tomatoes and tomato sauce to the crock.
5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. (I concur with Stephanie that the longer you cook this, the better it will taste.)
6. Serve the way you would any chili. In our house, that means a layer of tortilla chips, then a layer of chili, topped with a handful of shredded Mexican blend cheese (cheddar would work fine), a handful of shredded lettuce, and sour cream. Sometimes I also serve it with diced tomatoes and avocado.

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