Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Chili (gluten free, vegan and paleo options)
As a busy mama of two little girls, I absolutely LOVE making crockpot dinners. 4pm is the witching hour at my house and no matter how well rested, recently fed or bribed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse my little munchkins are, when 4 or 4:30 rolls around they always need mommy. It's pretty hard to get dinner started with a little person or two hanging on my leg and crying. Getting dinner going in the morning is much easier!
This Chipotle Chicken Chili is packed with colorful vegetables, smokiness from the chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika and just a little bit of heat. Of course, you can make it as spicy as you want but I make mine pretty mild for the little girls. If you prefer a paleo chili, double the chicken and omit the beans and high cooking time. If you want a vegan chili, omit the chicken and add more veggies. Top with a sprinkling of cilantro, avocado, a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese if you eat dairy.
Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Chili
2 cups of dried black beans, soaked in filtered water overnight and drained
1 lb. of organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 small yellow or red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 stalks of celery, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups of organic, low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
16-24 ounces of diced tomatoes in puree (use more or less depending on the size of your crockpot)
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of chipotle chili powder
2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of mustard powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of oregano
1-2 tsp of sea salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1 lime, juiced
Garnishes: cilantro, avocado, diced green onion, organic sour cream, organic cheddar cheese or goat cheese
Add the drained black beans to the crockpot and cover with chicken or vegetable stock. Cook on high heat for 3 hours. The beans will just be starting to soften at this point.
Add the chicken thighs, spices except for the sea salt, vegetables and tomatoes and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours. Remove the chicken thighs and shred the meat with two forks. It should be very tender and shred easily. Add the shredded chicken back into the chili.
Stir in the fresh lime juice and sea salt. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Serve with desired garnishes.
(This makes a big batch so I often freeze half of the chili to use later. Wait until the chili is completely cooled before transferring into a ziplock bag (double bag it!) or storage container. This will prevent the chili from creating condensation and getting icy in the freezer.)