What is it about the start of fall and the first few cool, crisp and rainy days that makes wrapping your hands around a nice hot bowl of steaming soup seem like the answer to every bad day you’ve ever had?! As an
obsessive committed Crock-Pot user I can honestly say that I use my slow cooker year round and have all sorts of favorite recipes. But there is that something special about fall… it’s kind of like New Year’s for slow cooking… and it makes me want to come up with all sorts of new recipes in a quest to take comfort food to a new level. Chili is my current obsession, specifically this Cheesy Chipotle Chili Chicken.
Totally loaded up with chicken and fire-roasted tomatoes this is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of chili! We plunked ourselves in front of the TV to watch yet another Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives marathon while stuffing our faces with chili and it was actually so surprised by how well this turned out I almost fell out of my big cushiony chair! But I held it together so I wouldn’t spill any chili!
I used two small chipotle peppers from the can along with about a tablespoon of the adobo sauce and for me it was the perfect amount of spice. I personally like to have the little hint of heat without the need for a towel to wipe my forehead during dinner. Spice it up by using more if you like!
I also used a bottle of my current favorite beer (an extra pale ale) which I was worried would overpower the other flavors but after cooking for a very long day in the crock it didn’t! It was the perfect amount of flavor. If you don’t want to use beer you can replace it with broth but my personal opinion is that the beer flavor really makes this chili shine. So make sure you use a beer you really love.
The finishing touch here is the creamy cheesy sauce. It’s a stove top deal but only takes like 5 minutes. If you are in an absolute time crunch you could melt some cheese directly in here but it won’t be quite the same. If you can spare 5 minutes PLEASE make the sauce. So. Totally. Worth IT!
For Chili Base:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 28 ounces canned fire roasted tomatoes
- 12 ounces beer ((something you love to drink!))
- 15 ounces canned pinto beans
- 8 ounces canned tomato sauce with roasted garlic
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (plus a little sauce (I used 1 tablespoon of sauce but adjust depending on your preference for spice))
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For Cheese Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- Place chipotle peppers and adobo sauce in blender or food processor and give a little pulse, adding a splash of water as necessary to make a bit of a paste (or you can finely chop if you prefer)
- Add all chili ingredients along with peppers to crock
- Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours (the longer you cook the better the flavor)
- Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks, return to crock
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat on stove
- Whisk in flour until smooth
- Slowly add milk while whisking to make a smooth sauce
- Continue whisking over medium high heat as you bring the sauce to a simmer and it thickens enough to coat a spoon (about 3-5 minutes)
- Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese until smooth
- Add cheese sauce to crock and stir to combine well
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