I like to show my love through cooking, as I’m not particularly the touchy-feely type.  This chicken chili with kale is a sweet ode to my balding hunk of a hubbie.  You see, he asked me to cook him some tender chicken thighs with some kick.  So this chili is what he got for Sunday supper.

It was a rather easy afternoon task.  I browned 3/4 inch pieces of chicken thigh meat.  Next, I sautéed some onion and jalapeño and garlic, then added in a mix of paprika, cumin, oregano, ancho chili and a pinch of cayenne.  A little white wine was then added to this mix and reduced a bit.  Then in went some canned tomatoes, some low sodium chicken broth and a can of cannellini beans.  I brought this concoction to a simmer, added back in the chicken, and let the slow cooker do its work for several hours.  About an hour before serving it, I snuck in a healthy amount of kale 🙂 

I sat a bowlful of this chicken chili with kale topped with brown rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro in front of my husband.   Before I could bring over the ground pepper to top the chili, it was gone.  A second bowl was requested and devoured in short stead.  The kids weren’t really very interested, but my love note was received and appreciated.  It was a good day’s work.

Chicken Chili with Kale
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, cut in ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1½ tbsp ancho chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • brown rice
  1. Heat oil in dutch oven or slow cooker with a braise/saute function. Salt and pepper chicken thigh pieces and brown on all sides, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from pan.
  3. Add onion and jalapeño and saute for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  4. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Add in cumin, oregano, paprika, ancho chili and cayenne. Stir until evenly distributed.
  6. Add wine and stir. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until wine is reduced by about ⅓.
  7. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and beans. Stir and bring to a boil.
  8. Add chicken [transfer to slow cooker if desired.] Set slow cooker on high for one hour, then reduce to low for 3-4 hours. [Alternatively, you can simmer on the stove-top for 1 to 1½ hours.
  9. One hour before done, add in chopped kale. Stir occasionally until combined with chili.
  10. Ladle chili into bowls and top with rice, cilantro, sour cream and cheddar cheese (or whatever mix you like!).

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