Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
If you hadn’t noticed, it’s winter. The temps across the country are a sure sign of that, not to mention the snow that’s buried many areas already. The cold is here to stay. I have to say, even though I love New England I’m really looking forward to the warmer temps of Spring. I don’t mind bundling up but January is pretty cruel here, seriously frigid whipping winds. Today is one of the calmer days. But even so, it’s still cold. Have I gotten the point across yet? It’s cold! What do you want to eat when it’s cold but something really warm and comforting. A nice hearty meal maybe with a bit of a kick.
I’ve been enjoying Sunday slow cooking. I do my slow cooking on the weekends so the Mr. has lunches for the week. It’s a fun, though torturous, to use the slow cooker on the weekend. If you’re ever home when using it, you know what I mean. The smells waft through the house the entire day, pure torture to smell such goodness and not be able to eat it right away.
My latest adventure in slow cooking was to make a buffalo chicken chili. I started with one recipe then found many more and in the end just played around with what I was doing. The batch I made proved to have a definite kick to it. The level of heat can be adjusted to your liking so don’t be deterred from trying this if you don’t like spicy food. If you like buffalo chicken and chili… this is a must try. It’s beyond simple, 10-15 minutes of prep work then you sit back and wait for it to finish. The end result is a spicy and hearty dish, loaded with chicken and veggies.
Cook Time: 4-10 hours
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili
3C chicken breast cut into 1" chunks (roughly 2 1/2lbs)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
28oz can diced tomatoes, mostly drained
15oz can black beans, rinsed
1C chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cayenne pepper**
1/2 tbsp cumin**
1 tbsp paprika**
1/2C buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot buffalo wing sauce)
blue cheese crumbles for topping
Prepare veggies: chop onions, celery and carrots. Mince garlic. Drain most of the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes, doing this will help to keep the chili thicker. Pour black beans into a strainer, rinse well. Toss all veggies into slow cooker.
When working with veggies and meat, always prepare veggies first and work with the meat last - or use two different cutting boards. Even though you're tossing all of the ingredients into the slow cooker uncooked, it's just a good habit to be in.
Prepare chicken by trimming any fat and then cutting into 1 inch chunks. Because my chicken breasts were on the thicker side, I sliced mine in half to make them thinner. If you're not up for that, you can always beat them down with a meat mallet to reduce their thickness. Toss chicken into the slow cooker. Pour broth into the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika. Remember to used the reduced amounts of spices if looking for a less spicy version. If you're up for some heat, without being too over the top - go with the full amount. Stir well to break up chicken and spread the spices throughout. Reserve buffalo sauce and blue cheese.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.
After the time is up, stir in 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce. Break apart any chicken that is stuck together. Divide among bowls, top with blue cheese crumbles if desired.
If saving any or all for later, spoon meat and veggies into a container with some liquid. I opted to not save all of the liquid so the actual chili is a bit thicker, you do want some though.
Store in an airtight container for up to several days or freeze for up to several months. If freezing, remember to leave some room for expansion and as always... label the container well. In this case the name of the dish and the date you're freezing should go on the label. Nothing is worse than playing the mystery freezer meat/food game.
**Notes: if looking for a less spicy chili, do not use the full amounts listed below. Use 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp cumin. The level of spice can always be increased when tasting at the end if needed.