Since I have started blogging and following other food bloggers, I have become addicted to classic American dishes such as Mac and Cheese. As a lover of good food, I find it fascinating how diets change over time and what causes those changes. Growing up in Canberra, my Mum was fairly adventurous in terms of 1970s home cooking but what we ate then seems positively tame when you look at all the gorgeous Asian influences that have flooded Australia since then.
It is hard to imagine there used to be a time when Thai restaurants weren’t ubiquitous. Now Thai restaurants seem a bit passé and we’ve moved on to other more exotic sounding cuisines. Mind you I still love a good Thai restaurant and Thai food is some of my favourite food.
Food blogging has introduced me to new ingredients, classics from other countries and great variations on old favourites. I had never even heard of liquid smoke nor sriracha sauce before I got caught up in the food blogging world. And yet here is a recipe incorporating both those ingredients – smoky sriracha chicken chili. Chili in itself has been a bit of revelation this year. Previously I had associated it with dodgy packet mixes with beef mince, tomatoes and red kidney beans. I have now made chili with beer and cheesy chilli turkey pasta, plus other recipes that I just couldn’t get a good photo of and I am a bit addicted.
I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili by Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and was all ready to make it. But when I came to cook it, I didn’t have any suitable hot sauce – just sriracha or tabasco sauces and there was no way I was going to put ¼ of a cup of either of them in my chili without blowing my head off. I had a go at making the chili with just a smidgen of sriracha sauce but it was not very exciting – I didn’t have fire roasted tomatoes (can you even get these in Australia?) and that might have been the problem – along with not having the hot sauce. So I mixed it up with the liquid smoke I bought to make these spicy New Orleans prawns. I nearly added the chipotle in adobo that I have also discovered this year but channeled Coco Chanel and her quote ‘Less is always more”. I think she saved the recipe from being confused.
The chili has a kick but I love the way the liquid smoke adds a depth to the recipe. Plus it hides carrot and celery in it. Neither carrots not celery are vegetables that I love, so I like it when I manage to fool myself in to not thinking I am eating them. It is an easy to make recipe – no complicated techniques. The main thing is to keep stirring during the first part of the recipe so you don’t get too much burnt stuff on the bottom. Preparation time is about 10 minutes with the vegetable chopping required. Cook time is 45 minutes.
Calorie wise there are about 350 calories in this recipe including the sour cream and cheese. The only real wastage is the third of a carrot but given my normal loathing of carrots, I can live with that.
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 300g of chicken mince (ground chicken)
- 1/3 of a carrot, finely chopped
- 1/4 of an onion, diced
- 1 piece of celery, finely chopped
- 1 tsp of minced garlic (equal to one clove)
- 1/2 tbs of chili powder (but start with less and taste as you add)
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of liquid smoke
- 2/3 cup of chicken stock
- 1/2 tbs of sriracha sauce (you can add more as you go along if it isn't hot enough)
- 1 400g can of diced tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbs of light sour cream
- 2 tbs of shredded Kraft Mexican Cheese blend (you could use cheddar as well)
- Heat a heavy bottomed pot over a medium high heat (4 out of 6 on my electric stove). I used my small dutch oven.
- Pop in the olive oil and when the oil is hot add in the minced chicken and brown the mince. Make sure you keep stirring the chicken so it doesn't stick too much to the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the carrots, onion, garlic, celery and the spices (cumin, chili powder and paprika).
- Cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the chili powder in stages and taste as you go, remembering you are going to add sriracha sauce.
- Pour in the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot. You don't want to lose the flavour of those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the canned tomatoes, liquid smoke and sriracha sauce. Add the sriracha sauce gradually to get your desired heat. Also add in salt and pepper at this stage to taste.
- Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every now and again to keep things from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Spoon the chili in to bowls and garnish with sour cream and cheese.