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Chicken Chili

This thick chicken chili will leave even the most dedicated meat eater satisfied.The recipe was featured on "Mad Hungry" TV.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Chicken Chili

Photography: Johnny Miller

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2010


  • 10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 jalapeno chile, halved (seeded if desired)
  • 1 white onion, peeled and halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • Salt
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained


  1. Preheat broiler, with rack 3 inches from heat source. Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until starting to char, about 5 minutes. Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender or a food processor until chunky. Chop onion and mince garlic.

  2. Heat a large heavy skillet (preferably enamel cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add oil. Working in batches, brown chicken in a single layer, allowing to sear before stirring, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate.

  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chipotles, and add chicken. Raise heat to high. Add tomato-jalapeno mixture. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until fully incorporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in stock; simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans; simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

Cook's Note

Chili can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Reviews (30)

  • robbielaws 11 Jan, 2015

    Sounds great. I've been making beef chili for years and the only thing I can see that might be missing is comino. I think they call it cumin in this part of the country. I would add a couple teaspoons at least. I usually roast the comino seeds in a small, dry skillet until they are fragrant and then grind them in my spice grinder. Much more flavor than buying ground comino. Happy eating!

  • kandace qually 12 Aug, 2013

    Made it and LOVE it!!!! I don't usually like chili and I hate beans, so I omitted them. I did serve the chili with cornbread and it was an instant hit. I also freeze it for later, thank you. I have a new favorite!

  • AmySol 17 Jan, 2011

    This is one of the best recipes ever! I've made it at least 6 times since it came out, it is a huge hit! I agree, the heat was a little much for me, so now I've toned it down a bit by de-seeding the jalapeno AND the chipotle chilis - makes a big difference. It is really one of the best dishes I've made, soooo delicious! Thank you!

  • lovemy_buba 11 Jan, 2011

    BIG Lucinda fan however, this chili is too spicey with a flat finish. It lacks the complexities one is use to in a chili. Made the day before which gave me today to do some serious doctoring up. I made half a recipe and doubled the beans (used dry pinto as this was all I had on hand), added 2 times more stock, pureed 4-5 addt'l tomatoes, a half of a green pepper that I had on hand, cumin, mexican oregano

  • kerridugan 9 Jan, 2011

    I LOVE this recipe. I think this will be my default chili recipe from now on.

  • amp215 9 Jan, 2011

    Dont be afraid. I made this with chicken and found it outstanding. The heat was clearly present but not overbearing (we do like spicy foods). If you are concerned, use one chipotle and be sure to remove the jalapeno seeds. I'm trying this "base" with a combination of beef and pork that I slow raised yesterday. Cannot wait for dinner!

  • frelll 7 Dec, 2010

    What do I change to make this not so hot? I don't want to loose the wonderful flavor just make it so our mouth's don't burn.

  • mchema 12 Nov, 2010

    I indeed used TWO CANS of Chipotles.... This was the first time I used this ingredient. I only took two bites of this before I realized something was very, very wrong! I couldn't figure out what I did wrong until I watched Man Hungry. I felt so stupid! I will try it again with just two chilies. USE ONLY TWO!!!!

  • meme104 11 Nov, 2010

    I made this last nigth. Delicious..Lucinda helps me decide what to cook for dinner.I run out of ideas

  • XicanaMama 10 Nov, 2010

    I like chili thick

  • Ruth9919 8 Nov, 2010

    Most chili recipes have around 1/4 cup of chili powder. The heat comes from the chipotles, so I would cut down to 1 chile or omit all together if it's so spicy. Also, I hope that no one added 2 CANS of chipotles, rather than 2 CHILES. If so, no wonder it was inedible.

  • andi barton 28 Oct, 2010

    When I saw this recipe I was soo excited to make it. I made it on Monday and invited friends over for a Wednesday night dinner. Upon tasting it on Wednesday I realized that it was far too spicey for even my friends who love spicey food. It was completely inedable. I was very disappointed and called off the dinner. I double checked the recipe and I had made it properly. It is now frozen and I am trying to figure out how to not have wasted all of the ingredients.

  • arvo920 25 Oct, 2010

    On one of our rare cold days in California I decided to make this chicken chili as soon as I came across the recipe in the October Issue of Living. Unfortunately, the chili was extremely hot. It calls for 1/4 cup of chili powder, which caused the chili to be inedible. I would definitely recommend this chili recipe omitting the chili powder

  • wajtv 24 Oct, 2010

    This is brilliant. I may never go back to beef chili. The corn muffin croutons were a huge hit; everybody trying to figure out what they were.

  • wajtv 24 Oct, 2010

    more to my previous comment, now that I've read some of the others. When it was just finished, it seemed a bit spicy, but I had made it a day early. With the reheating the chili mellowed wonderfully. And don't forget to add some gated cheddar and some sour cream to further blend the flovors.

  • wajtv 24 Oct, 2010

    This is brilliant. I may never go back to beef chili. The corn muffin croutons were a huge hit; everybody trying to figure out what they were.

  • jevdt 23 Oct, 2010

    Ha! I just saw the video for the chicken chili and realized I had mis-read the recipe and thought we were to add 2 cans of chilies, not 2 chilies. Silly me! Luckily, I had done the right thing when I made it. Yum!

  • hatches97 20 Oct, 2010

    We love spicy but I read the recipe wrong and added 2 whole cans of chipotle in adobo sauce instead of just 2, my husband loved it though, it was defintely too hot for I can't wait to make it again the right way:)

  • hatches97 20 Oct, 2010

    We love spicy but I read the recipe wrong and added 2 whole cans of chipotle in adobo sauce instead of just 2, my husband loved it though, it was defintely too hot for I can't wait to make it again the right way:)

  • Redhedmama 19 Oct, 2010

    This recipe seemed like a perfect candidate for my "new meal of the week," unfortunately it ended up way too spicy for my husband and I-- and we are extra-wasabi-kind-of-people! I'm especially disappointed because the amount of time the recipe required led me to dedicate a morning, prepping, chopping and charring. Can't wait to try your November stuffed shells recipe, though!

  • jevdt 18 Oct, 2010

    I halved the recipe, as there are just two of us. Luckily, I realized that adding a whole can of chipotle chiles would make it way too spicy for us. I jadded just one of the chiles, and the spice level was perfect. We thought it was delicious! I just read that I can freeze the rest of the chiles, so they won't go to waste.

  • suebeesue 16 Oct, 2010

    I made this tonight with 1 seeded jalapeno, 1/8 cup chili powder, 1/8 cup chili 'seasoning' from a packet....and it was WAY TOO SPICY. The back of my throat burned and I could only eat a couple of mouthfuls, even with sour cream on top. The heat was too much.

  • Yelsylveta 16 Oct, 2010

    My family and I loved this recipe, but we happen to like spicy things. I am making it again tonight just to have for nachos. I did season my chicken prior to cooking with season salt. It turned out perfect!

  • yogamd 16 Oct, 2010

    I followed this recipe as written. It was too spicy without much flavor. So disappointing!

  • hatches97 14 Oct, 2010

    this was very good, my husband loves it but I think I will cut down on the chipotles, it was pretty spicy:)

  • lynnbstrickland 11 Oct, 2010

    Chili powder adds flavor but no heat. Any heat in this recipe is purely from the chipotles and jalapenos.

  • celdry 10 Oct, 2010

    Totally delicious! I skipped the jalapeno and the beans, but added the chipotle's in adobo! The texture of the thighs is awesome! Not too spicy at all - just right! 1/4 cup of chili powder is the perfect amount!`

  • cst99 8 Oct, 2010

    This chili is delicious. I've made it twice and my family really likes it.

  • irleshay 6 Oct, 2010

    I didn't even add the 1/4 cup of chili powder, and it was too hot for me! You could say that I usually prefer mild when it comes to spicy, but the chipotles and 1/2 poblano (I dislike jalapeno) were already searing my tongue. I can't fathom 1/4 cup of chili powder on top of that. Otherwise, it was a tasty chili.

  • cmgrn 5 Oct, 2010

    Love your show...ordered your cookbook today. Made this chicken chili for dinner tonight and, unfortunately, it was too hot for my son and I. I know my jalapeno was hot, as i tasted it first as you did on your show, but, is it really 1/4 cup chili powder? I followed your recipe to a tee, and would like to make again, this time without so much heat. The corn muffin croutons are heavenly! Thx

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