So, for a recipe to start the new year, what about something ‘clean’? A chicken recipe, but a chilli too? After the seasonal indulgence, with a plethora of diets, detoxes and all sorts of regimes flying about (my thoughts on these later in the week!!) what we could do with is maximum nutrition, fantastic taste and that winter element of comfort food. I know I could! This will also satisfy while aiding any new year detox or weight loss efforts – no pasta, rice or potatoes necessary, just delicious, wholesome, nutritious, belly-satisfying good food. Quick, easy and light on time, effort and washing up too. Could it be any better?

This version of a chilli is based around chicken and beans, still with a mexican flavour. Both chicken and beans deliver a powerful protein punch to satisfy our post-Christmas appetites, with spicy heat from the chilli and cumin,
antioxidants from the tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic, and healthy fats from the avocado. This anglo- mexican combo creates a warming fiesta on the inside as you snuggle down with it on a wintry evening. Arrib-aahhh! And relax…… 

Chicken and Bean Chilli

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 tin of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 tins of tomatoes (to taste)
500g cooked/leftover chicken, shredded or diced,
chili powder or chopped fresh chilli (to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
275 ml chicken stock
juice of one lime (about 3 tablespoons)
50g fresh coriander, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Avocado topping:
1 ripe avocado, cut into medium dice
50g fresh coriander, chopped
juice of 2 limes (about 6 tablespoons)

In a food processor, combine half the beans and half of the tomatoes and process until smooth. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions to the pot and cook, stirring, until onion begins to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add red and yellow peppers, stirring, for an additional 2 minutes, then the garlic, softening for a minute or so. Add the chilli element and cumin and stir for 20 seconds. Add chicken stock and stir for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the remaining beans, tomatoes, and the pureed bean mixture to the pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes so the flavours mix together. Stir in the coriander, lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the avocado topping,: toss the avocado, lime juice, and coriander together in a small bowl, seasoning to taste.
Serve immediately with a generous spoonful of the avocado garnish, or any other topping of your choice, such as a cooling half fat creme fraiche laced with fresh coriander.


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