Tasty Thursdays – Cooking with Kids – Easy Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili – the short and easy way

We like non spicy food – so this chili is NOT spicy – if you want to spice it up – add Poblano and Chili peppers – or even Jalopeno peppers for a VERY spicy addition – about 2 peppers will do it! Just chop them in like the red bell peppers but mind your eyes! Wash your hands carefully before touching your face. Also since most supermarkets have cooked chicken ready for takeout – if you are running really late and want to make this in a hurry – you can either add chopped ( skinned and boned) cooked chicken from a roaster in the market, or – to add an even more exotic flavor – use a SMOKED chicken from your local supermarket. We love to smoke our own and a couple of years ago we invested in a smoker –  and just place the chicken into it on top of wood pieces that are smoky hot – and voila – in about an hour or so we have delicious smokey flavored cooked chicken!


  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (14 1/2-oz.) boxes of tomatoes with juice ( chopped are best) ( the kids can add this to the pot)
  • 3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (about 1 lb. which is probably as much as you can get from a 2-3lb total chicken – this is where you can use smoked chicken as described above – this is also where you can get help from the children in taking off the skins and bones from the cooked chicken)
  • 1 (16-oz.) can navy beans ( kids can add all these ingredients – careful the sides of the cans)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (12-oz.) can beer  (any kind works – and all the alchohol will cook off so no worries about serving this to children)
  • 1 (1.25-oz.) envelope white chicken chili seasoning mix
  • Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges, baby corn, sliced black olives ( only use the oil based ones), chopped red onion, tortilla chips

Preparation – remember to put on music while cooking – it makes happy times! I like to play the TICKLE ME song Tickle Me Samplewhile doing this recipe – it makes the children giggle!

1. Sauté the peppers, onions and garlic in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender.

2. Stir in diced tomatoes, all beans, beer and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Why cook it if the chicken is already cooked? If you are using smoked chicken, it will infuse the smokey flavor into all the other ingredients.

3. Serve with desired toppings.

About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all – Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.

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