I could never find a good recipe for CHICKEN CHILI that I really liked, so I made one up. It took 2 tries before I got just the flavor I was looking for and since then I have prepared this and served it several times. Perfect for this time of year! I like to serve it with home made cornbread-I'm originally from Arkansas. :-)
First step- Place your whole chicken you have rinsed off and patted dry in to a roasting pan. I find it helps if you line the pan with foil first and use a non-stick spray (you will have easier clean-up). Place pan with chicken into 425 degree oven for 45 minutes. The idea is to brown and give the meat a nice roasted flavor. We don't expect it to be cooked enough to eat yet. Remove the pan, let the chicken cool enough so you can remove it from the pan and begin to separate the meat from the skin and bones. You can either chop the meat up or pull it apart it with your fingers. Just make the pieces more or less bite size. Discard the skin and bones. Set aside the meat for now.
Begin to heat the oil in a large soup stock pan. Add the onions and saute for approximately 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices and stir for 30 seconds. You are "blooming" their flavor at this point. Quickly add chicken stock, stirring everything together over medium high heat. Stir in chicken pieces, and 4 cans of the beans, without draining them. Pour the 5th can of beans into a bowl and mash them. I found the bottom of a glass worked well for this. These will thicken your stock for you. Add these to your soup, stir in.
At this point, it is time for a taste test. Adjust the spices if you need to. Feel free to add salt, chili powder, whatever-just always keep in mind, you may always add more but if you go too far, there's very little you can do about it-so sneak up on it, if you will. Simmer chili for at least 45 minutes on a low medium heat,stirring occasionally. Taste test once more because spices will taste slightly different after you've applied heat. This dish tastes great warmed up the next day, too! Serve in soup bowls-enjoy!