Most of us who played team sports and grew up before the daft thought that “every kid is a winner and must get a medal” know the feeling of disappointment of being left out of the team, making the subs but not getting a game or even being taken off the pitch in the first half. It hurts. It also teaches some really valuable life lessons. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go off on a “Life sucks” rant. But, we all need to know how to deal with not being winners all the time. Life is just not like that. If all my recipe posts were winners, you would have read about my steak and kidney pie by now. There are winners, there are losers and there’s my steak and kidney pie. There are the ones that are really good but for some reason only make the subs bench. My really quite delicious Chicken and Black Turtle Bean Chilli has been on the bench for long enough. Time for it to join the first team.
I like to be planned well in advance. I like to have all my ducks in a row (even when I’m cooking chicken) and I need to know I have a shot in the blogging locker if I am too busy, too lazy or just lacking that “Conor’s a Winner” feeling. This unusual chilli is the one I’ve been holding back. So, while I’m lazing, busy or bereft of ideas, you can read about a wonderful, easy recipe.
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 100 grammes of dried black turtle beans
- 400 grammes of tinned tomatoes
- 2 onions
- 3 bell peppers red/green/yellow
- 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin
- 1 heaped teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 level teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 cm piece of achiote paste
- 3 Ancho, 2 Mulato, 4 Puya and 1 Guajillo chillis
Boil the black turtle beans for an hour or so. Drain and set aside. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Do likewise with the peppers and the onions. Place the dried chillis in a bowl and add about 500ml of boiling water. Leave for 30 minutes before blending into a smooth paste.
Fry the onions in the base of a casserole until soft and translucent. Add the chicken and stir while it turns colour. Add the cumin, salt and pepper. Add a small amount of boiling water to the achiote paste and work it with a spoon until it dissolves. Add this to the casserole. Add the chilli paste and stir to combine.
The aromas will be fantastic. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the mixed peppers and black beans. Stir to combine and simmer for another 20 minutes or so.
Serve this chilli with tortilla chips, a dash of sour cream, salsa and a nice cool beer. It’s delicious and really doesn’t deserve to be left on the reserves bench any longer.
This doesn’t take too long to prepare and makes a lovely, warming meal. Serve it to the kids instead of giving them medals for being losers. They will appreciate it in the long run and will get to know a little more about winning. It’s an important life lesson.