A few months ago I discovered Rachael Ray's book Yum-O which is her cookbook for families. It seems that these recipes are a bit more figure friendly, often making the chicken for beef swap - or adding extra veggies. Needless to say, it's still my girl Rachael (lots of layers, lots of seasoning, lots of real ingredients) but with less fat. I'm into it.
Her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili is one of my go-to meals on a busy weeknight. I got home at 8pm, and dinner was on the table by 8:45...not bad for a full-flavored chili. This recipe is healthy-ish because, let's not lie to ourselves, there is really no need to treat yourself to plate of buffalo wings for no reason on a Monday night. You get all of the flavors of a plate of buffalo wings with no deep fryer and 100% white meat chicken. Plus, in my opinion Frank's Red Hot is a gift from God - seriously it's my crack, I eat it on celery sticks when the wings are gone, writing about it right now only makes me want some.
You can make this recipe extra healthy-ish by using baked chips (my opinion on those = gross, not worth it) and reduced fat cheese (my opinion on that = good swap for this recipe).
Make it tonight, it's delicious and healthy-ish (not to mention super-fast):
Rachael Ray's Buffalo Chicken Chili
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds all-white meat ground chicken breast
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 5 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (I used chipotles)
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (if you have a big can of tomatoes, don't go to the store to get the sauce, it's fine. Just use what you have)
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 7-ounce bag yellow corn chips
- 1 7-ounce bag blue corn chips
- 3/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled, recommended type Maytag Blue (cheddar is also delicious)
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a couple of handfuls)
Preheat oven to 375°F or broiler to medium
Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
While the chili is simmering, spread the yellow and blue corn chips out on a cookie sheet. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. If using the broiler, 2-3 minutes should do the trick. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Top each serving of buffalo chicken chili with a few blue cheese-topped corn chips.