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Blue Heaven Chili

Blue cheese is an unlikely ingredient in conventional chili, although other types of cheese have long been chili “tamer downers” and a favorite fixin’ and mixin’. Since I have always really liked blue cheese in any form, I decided to see if it’s wonderful flavor would give a great-tasting “edge” to chili—and it sure does. Try it!

Yield: Serves 2 to 4

2 Tablespoons bacon drippings or butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch dice (2 to 2 ½ cups)
3 cups rich chicken broth
4 to 6 fresh green chiles parched, peeled, and coarsely chopped, or 1 cup canned or frozen chopped green chiles
1 medium russet potato, unpeeled, diced
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup crumbled blue cheese (blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or Stilton will work well)

1. Melt the bacon drippings in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and chicken and cook, stirring, until the chicken begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the broth, green chiles, and potato to the pot. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes can be pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding salt to taste (many chicken broths and bouillons are so loaded with salt that none is needed). Spoon the chili into individual bowls, and scatter the blue cheese over the top of each serving.

Note: To make “rich” chicken broth, simply simmer regular chicken broth (canned or homemade) over medium heat until it is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes (in this case you would begin with 6 cups broth and cook it down to 3.) Or, if using a bouillon concentrate, double the amount of concentrate.

 
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