Chicken Chili and Sourdough Cornbread Waffles
Chicken Chili and Sourdough Cornbread Waffles
My husband loves this dish! I'm sure I should make it more often than I do. The crunchy sweet sourdough cornbread waffles make a great base for some spicy chicken chili. I like a little cheese and green onion on mine.
Pass around some sour cream and extra hot sauce too! I keep thinking there are a million slight variations that would make this recipe unique every time I make it so it really should be on the regular rotation for the winter. I'm thinking some chopped green chilies or pickled jalapenos added to the waffle batter or a hand full of shredded cheese would make sense here. Maybe a green chicken chili next time?
I call these cornbread waffles because I really do use my cornbread recipe to make them. I use a polenta grind instead of traditional cornmeal because I like the added crunch it has. When I make cornbread I use a lot of honey in place of white sugar because I like the tangy flavor of the honey and the sticky moisture it brings to a nice pan of cornbread but I really didn't want that in this recipe so I used regular white sugar. It makes a much more crisp sweet waffle.
Before I start making the waffles I need to get the chili started. I chopped up some nice boneless chicken breasts and started browning them lightly in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in my dutch oven.
Man this thing really gets a work out at my house! Yes, This is the same dutch oven I use for a lot of my bread baking too.
I brown them on a medium high heat just until they start to become opaque and then I start adding the the rest of the ingredients in the chili starting with the vegetables.
Today I'm using 3 small poblano chilies from my late summer garden harvest. They are tiny and starting to turn red. They're a little sweet and mild to medium hot. I'm also using 3 jalapenos from my garden and these puppies are really hot. I've never had hot jalapenos from my garden until this year but wow! These are really good. I recently received some great looking ghost chilies from a friend who grows them. Next chili, I'm using one of those!
But for today, I also have a green bell pepper, half a red onion, some celery and a small head of garlic from the garden.
After chopping up the veggies and adding them to the chicken in the dutch oven.
These are the spices that go into this chili. Smoked Spanish Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, hot Smoked Hatch Chili Powder from New Mexico and a mild Ancho chili powder, think chocolate-like. I also used some Cumin that's not pictured here.
I like to make my own spice blends and season dishes using individual spices because I always feel like I just don't know about the stabilizers and desiccants and color enhancers that are added to most spice blends. Plus, the actual spices may not be listed on the package and I know I can't stomach too much oregano personally. So this is one way for me to clean up my eating.
Adding Spices to the Chicken Chili
I let the vegetables saute until they are slightly translucent and then add in the chopped garlic and the spices. I stir them for a few minutes to gently toast them and bring out the flavors before adding in the wet ingredients.
Spicy Chicken Chili Simmering
After adding the wet ingredients, 2 cans of beans half drained, 1 can of tomatoes and 1 can of tomato soup, give it a good stir and turn the heat down so the pot of chili can simmer while the crispy waffles are being made.
I know some of you will be thinking, "OMG! Campbell's Tomato Soup?!" But I tell you, sometimes you need just one can of Campbell's soup. It makes a crazy difference in the chili. When I don't use it, I definitely need to simmer for a much longer time to get the creaminess I'm looking for in the chili. It's something about the tomatoes breaking down over a long slow simmer that I sometimes just don't have time for.
Recently I updated several pictures for this post because the original ones were quite dark and I have a great new camera on my Galaxy Note! The new pictures feature a slightly different homemade chili that's basically the same but with some butter beans instead of kidney beans, shredded cooked turkey (leftovers :0) instead of chicken, and some slightly different garnishes. I always use that can of tomato soup and spice it up similarly. It just depends on what I have on hand, Feel free to experiment with your own spice cupboard and get creative if you don't have exactly what I've used here.
Be sure to preheat the waffle iron really well and I spray just a spritz of spray oil on the top and bottom of the iron while baking them at least every other waffle.
Aren't they pretty! And they are really made with my sourdough cornbread recipe. They are not cornmeal waffles. It's a subtle but noticeable difference in texture.
Going back to the chili, I had saved the tops from some of the celery to mince and finish the chili with, along with some fresh chopped scallion for serving so I stirred the celery tops in and then checked the chili for salt and pepper. I don't add any earlier because with adding the canned vegetables and soup you do have a bit of salt already and the peppers and spices need time to bloom before I feel I can get a good idea of the salt and pepper balance.