Alright people, this chili is a family legend, and my in-laws have gracefully granted me permission to share it on the blog. It started with my husband’s second cousins, Led and Connie. This was their chili recipe initially, and they would make it for the kids at a camp they ran every year where they live in Colorado.
It eventually got passed down to my mother and father-in-law, Rhonda and Ed, who visited them in Colorado, tried the chili, and loved it. They started making it year after year for their neighborhood chili competitions, and it won so many years in a row that they stopped being invited back to the competition 😂. Ed told me that one year, there were like 6 categories that your chili could win (things like most unique, best flavor, etc…), and they ended up winning four categories! They said it was almost embarrassing and they felt bad going to get their prizes as their names kept getting called over and over. That cracked me up!
I mean come on – how much better of a chili review can you get than that?! Ever since they told me that story, I have been so curious to try out this chili and see what all the fuss is about. And guess what? Turns out it’s super delicious – no surprise there, right? It’s very non traditional but still has the feel of chili, which I love.
When I was reading this recipe through, it was throwing me off so hard. There were a few things in here that I thought were so strange and were things I’ve never done with soup or chili in the past, but I trusted the stories and followed the recipe exactly, and – they are right – this chili is bangin’, yo.
The parts I thought were weird (but in a cool, unique, “interesting – I’m pumped to try that” way):
- You marinate the chicken in Italian dressing before you cook it and add it to the chili. Not only is Italian dressing uncommon in chili recipes, but this is a Southwest chili recipe, so it’s super random in here, too. It makes the chicken super flavorful and yummy though, and you don’t taste any Italian dressing flavor in the final chili – just lots of tasty chicken!
- You cook the chicken before you add it to the chili, and then you simmer it all together for an hour. I’ve added cooked chicken to chili before, but I always add it at the end because I figured it would get dry as it simmered for so long. Nope! Not dry at all! Tender and delicious.
- You only add a little over ONE cup of chicken broth – literally all the other liquid in this chili comes from the beans. The beans! You don’t drain them – you add the liquid that is in the canned beans into the chili! I’ve always drained my beans – I’ve never used the actual liquid in a recipe, but – again – I was super pleasantly surprised!
- You serve this chili over rice. This wasn’t quite as weird since it’s a southwest recipe, but it’s unique when you’re talkin’ chili. I loved this over rice! It was so hearty and yummy.
Overall – big fan! I can see why it won alllllll the awards.
As a change of subject from chili deliciousness, I need to update you on some blog stuff that is coming up! If you don’t already know, I am pregnant with a little boy due on December 2nd, and I’ll be taking 12 weeks of maternity leave starting the week of Thanksgiving! We will have family in town that week, and the baby will come shortly after, so I figured that was a good time to stop working.
I don’t want the blog to be quiet for my entire maternity leave like it was last time, so I’m trying as hard as I can right now to pre-post for my whole time off. BUT – there’s no way I’m going to be able to stick with my normal 3 posts a week and get that done. So I’m dropping to 2 posts a week during November to give myself more time to get things scheduled out for maternity leave, and then throughout December, January, and February, while I’m officially on maternity leave, there will only be one post a week going up.
That way it won’t be completely silent over here, but we will still get lots of quality time to spend with our new little man!
Anyway, just wanted you guys to know that some changes are coming! There will be less posts, and the post themselves will be a little shorter, sweeter, and to the point starting this week. But don’t worry – lots of yummy food still headed your way!
Like this chili! MAKE IT.Print
All-The-Award Winning Southwest Chicken Chili
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 14 servings
For the chili
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bottle Italian dressing
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 15 oz cans black beans WITH liquid
- 2 16 oz cans navy beans WITH liquid
- Cooked white rice and sliced green onions
- Add your chicken breasts to a bowl or large ziplock bag and cover with Italian dressing. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour
- In a large pot (a dutch oven works great here!), add some olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Cook your chicken breasts until they are nice and brown on both sides. Remove from the pot and dice into bite sized cubes (it’s totally fine if they aren’t cooked through since they’ll simmer in the chili for an hour)
- Add the chicken back into the pot + all the other ingredients (onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, chicken broth, beans) + salt and pepper. Make sure you add the beans AND their liquid instead of draining them!
- Stir everything together, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Serve over cooked white rice and top with lots of sliced green onions!
The original recipe calls for you to grill the chicken first. If you have the ability to do this, it’ll bring even more delicious flavor to the chili! It’s too cold outside here, so our grilling days are over for the season. If you want to grill the chicken, go for it. If it’s too cold outside or you don’t have a grill, just follow the recipe above!
Total time below doesn’t account for the time the chicken marinates since that will vary per person.
The serving size is 1/2 cup of chili because you serve it over rice, and that takes up a lot volume and makes it super hearty. (Rice and green onions not included in nutrition info)
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup chili
- Calories: 237
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 270 mg
- Fat: 6 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 30 g
- Fiber: 11 g
- Protein: 16 g
- Cholesterol: 17 mg
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more yummy chili recipes? Check these out: