Aired January 21, 2008
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 pounds (about 4 to 6, depending on size) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bits
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 scallions, root ends removed and thinly sliced
To make cutting the chicken easier, place it into the freezer for about 15 minutes until it firms up slightly but isnt frozen through. This will let you cut it up quickly into small pieces.
Preheat broiler and place a large pot of salted water over high heat to bring up to a boil for the whole wheat elbow macaroni.
Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken bits and brown them, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer the chili for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together and thicken it slightly.
While the chili is simmering, toss the pasta into the boiling salted water and cook until al dente according to package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss it into the chili, then transfer everything to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top and place it under the broiler until the cheeses have melted and the top is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the chopped scallions over the top and watch this one disappear in no time.