I love our recent cool autumn nights! It gives me an excuse to break out the soup pot and make huge batches of chili, soup, or stew! Usually it lasts for the whole week in the fridge or else I'll eat some and then freeze the rest. It is nice to be able to have a variety of soup to choose from as these cooler nights progress. This recipe is a first for me in many ways... I've never had hominy and I've never served chili over polenta. The next time I make this chili, I'm going to substitute corn kernels for the hominy because I'm not a huge fan of the slightly bitter taste. It was definitely hearty enough to be a main course. Hope you enjoy!
Chicken, Hominy, and Cilantro Chili
(From Williams-Sonoma: Chicken)
Yield: 8 Servings
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
12 Chicken Thighs, skin on & bone in
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 Yellow Onions, chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers, seeded & chopped
1 or 2 Jalapeno Chiles, seeded & minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
2 C. Chicken Stock (preferably homemade)
1 C. Lager Beer (I used Summit Oktoberfest)
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1/4 C. Yellow Cornmeal
1 Can Hominy, rinsed & drained (substitute: corn)
1/2 C. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 C. Instant Polenta, cooked according to pkg. directions
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In batches, add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned (about 8 minutes). Transfer to a plate and set aside. Pour off the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat and heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Add the onions, bell peppers, and chiles to taste and cook uncovered, stirring often, until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, oregano, and cumin; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the stock, beer, and tomato paste. Return the chicken to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (about 30 minutes).
Using kitchen tongs, remove the chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. Discard the skin and cut the meat from the bones. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces and return them to the pot. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 C. of the broth with the cornmeal; stir into the pot along with the hominy (or corn) and cilantro. Simmer until the chili thickens (about 10 minutes). Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon the polenta into warmed individual bowls, top with the chili, and serve hot. I served mine with reduced fat sour cream and added sliced green onions on top.