This chili isn't substituting chicken for beef in an attempt to be healthier. It's just trying to be different... but still just as good. I took a large pot of it on a weekend getaway with friends and everyone gave it two thumbs up. The chicken thighs are hearty and stand their ground against meat chili out there. Don't hesitate to give this a try. It involves more steps but is fairly easy. And the fact that you cook and puree the tomatoes yourself means you're avoiding all the sodium from canned tomatoes.
Slightly adapted from: Martha Stewart Living Magazine
10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 jalapeno chile, halved and seeded (leave seeds for extra hot chili)
1 white onion, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 c. chili powder
1-3/4 c. homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
Preheat broiler, with rack 3" from heat source. Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil under starting to char, about 5 minutes.
Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender or food processor until chunky. Chop onion and mince garlic.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Working in batches, brown chicken in a single layer, allowing to sear before stirring, 5-6 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder and 2 t. salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chipotles, and add chicken. Raise heat to high. Add tomato mixture. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until fully incorporated, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in stock; simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans; simmer 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings, such as sour cream, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, chopped green onion, and cornbread croutons.
A Note From The Little Lady: I increased the size of the recipe and when I did, made my second can of beans black instead of kidney. If you have preferences when it comes to beans, don't hesitate to use what you like!