Garden Fresh Fajita Chicken Chili

Garden Fresh Fajita Chicken Chili
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Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Techniques: Crock Pot /Slow Cook, Roast, Saute / Pan-Fry
Occasions: Any, Football Party, Harvest
Prep Time: 0 hr 30 min
Cook Time: 0 hr 30 min
Yield: 8 Serving(s)
Main Ingredients: Beans, Chicken, Vegetables
Sourced: Inspired by "Fresh Garden Tomato Chili" recipe on
Tags: Comfort Food, Main Course / Dinner, Seasonal, Spicy


  • 1 lb tomatillos; see prep below
  • 5 lbs fresh tomatoes; see no-peel prep below
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups bell peppers; cut into strips
  • 2 cups sweet onions; cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic; minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper chili flakes; more or less if desired (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder (I prefer cacao ;)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 chicken tenders; cooked and shredded
  • 3 cups cooked beans; I used cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; more if desired (optional)


  • - Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel off tomatillos outer husk, rinse, dry off and place in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss to coat and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • - Place prepared tomatillos in preheated oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until tomatillos are golden roasted and wilted; flip tomatillos occasionally to roast all sides.
  • - Once roasted set aside until ready to add to the chili.
  • - Before adding to the fajita chicken chili rough chop tomatillos and pour off any tomatillo liquor.
  • TOMATO PREP: (I used a mix of Romas and Early Girl's)
  • - Wash, core and cut tomatoes in half. To remove most of the seeds, squeeze each tomato half over a bowl.
  • - Rough chop each tomato half into 4 to 6 pieces, season with salt and pepper, toss to coat and place chopped tomatoes in a colander over a large bowl.
  • - Allow to drain for at least 30 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  • - Heat up a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large stockpot, add the bell peppers and onions, saute until tender crisp; about 15 mins.
  • - Add garlic, spices, cacao and brown sugar, give mixture a good stir and continue sauteing for a couple of minutes.
  • - Pour in prepared tomatillos and tomatoes. Add in shredded chicken and beans. While stirring, bring chili mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and slow simmer uncovered for 30 minutes (thinner chili) or up to 2 hours (thickest chili); stir occasionally.
  • - If desired, right before serving stir in a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.
  • Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  • - Serve straight up or with garnishes of your choice on a bed of rice (my fave is wild rice)!
Notes: Are you simmering your chili for more than 30 minutes, like I do? Then stir in shredded chicken and beans in the last half hour. ˆ ˆMake this a day ahead, allowing the flavors to deepen and meld. ˆ ˆFreeze, thaw and heat for a quick anytime meal. ˆ ˆFor additional thickening and authentic flavoring, try using a tablespoon or more of masa harina, the traditional Mexican flour used to make tortillas. ˆ ˆReserve and strain tomato and tomatillo liquor for soups, juices, smoothies, and more! ˆ ˆGarnish Ideas: hot sauce, crushed tortilla chips, shredded or crumbled cheese, sour cream, chopped olives, minced sweet or green onions, avacado slices, guacamole, salsa. ˆ ˆ More about me at
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