It’s no real secret that we are keeping a secret from our pet chickens. The gnawing reticence surrounding the reality that we eat chickens is beginning to devour my conscience. To be clear, we do not eat the pet chickens, not even those given to foul-fowl behavior. Even our cantankerous foster hen, Opal (I have changed her name in order to protect her identity), did not end up on a dinner plate. Good old Opal had some interesting ideas regarding inter-chicken relations. She seemed to tolerate the other Australorps but had no patience for her coop-mates of different breed. Opal’s incessant aggression toward the other chickens was a source of constant vexation. Perhaps I was idly daydreaming about her demise as I grocery shopped last week. I am not sure how else to explain the 9 pounds of chicken leg quarters that now occupy a disproportionately large portion of our freezer.
3 chicken leg quarters (about 2 pounds)
1 C diced onion
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 T chili powder
1 t paprika
1 t celery salt
1 C diced fresh tomato (I used heirloom tomatoes from the garden)
1 can (10 oz) Ro-tel diced tomatoes with chilies
¾ C diced green peppers
- Fry chicken in a pot turning frequently until mostly cooked.
- Remove chicken from pot and allow it to cool.
- To the chicken fat remaining in the pot, add the onion, garlic, and spices.
- Simmer until onions become soft.
- Add tomatoes and Ro-tel tomatoes, and simmer on low while you remove the meat from the chicken bones.
- Once you have successfully deboned the leg quarters, add the meat to the pot.
- Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add green peppers and simmer for 5 minutes (I like the green peppers tender-crisp.)
- Serve over cooked linguini.
I have cooked and written about chili for 240 consecutive days and today marks my first use of Ro-tel tomatoes and chilies. What the heck is wrong with me? Maybe I am so busy hiding my chicken eating ways from my wayward chickens that I am slightly checked out of reality. Whatever. This chili was good. Chili Jr and Pre were strong proponents of this dish and between them, polished off most of it. I found the chili delicious but found the process of removing the chicken meat from the bones annoying and slightly unnerving. I can tell you that I won’t be chatting up the process to the backyard hens. I think the Ro-tel was the real star of the show and there is no telling how many more of my chilis will be rife with Ro-tel.