This Cherry Chipotle Chili recipe was an ah-mazing first try at making chili at home. Tangy-sweet cherries balance out the heat from the chipotle!
Oddly enough, the only times I get strong cravings for warm bowls of stews and noodle soups are when it rains. When I visit a wintery place, I find myself either preoccupied with snow-related thoughts or craving ice cream. Ice cream of all things! Although of course some hotpot and ramen do wonders to warm me up inside out.
I’ve been wanting to make chili for a long time. This dish isn’t something that you would normally find here in Manila, but if you take a look at the ingredients list, most of the recipes you can find online aren’t that hard to put together. Different sorts of beans and tomatoes are now easy to find in the supermarket, and these days I’ve been spotting canned chipotle in Landmark Supermarkets.
Before I knew about that tidbit I actually had to carry some canned chipotle all the way home from San Franciso. I was heavily determined to make this Cherry Chipotle Chili because it seemed like an extra special sort of chili. And boy, I wasn’t wrong at all!
To think that I worked with frozen cherries plus canned tomatoes, beans, and chipotle! Sometimes unexpectedly awesome things come out from tin cans.
And I must say I am in love with chipotle chili now. There’s so much more exploring to do with this literal hot stuff! I am really in love with the deep and smoky scent and taste of these chiles. They give your dish not just a kick, but a nice smoky flavor too. I’ve been collecting recipes featuring chipotle chili in them, and recently I tested out a burger patty recipe that knocked my socks off. I’ll make it again and write about it next time.
Going back to this Chipotle Chili recipe, the original source uses two cans of chipotle chilis, but since not everyone is a fan of spicy food in my house I decided to use just one can. I thought it gave just the right amount of heat. If you want something really spicy then by all means do 2 cans. Just note that it might be a bit much for the uninitiated.
The rest of the ingredients, like the diced tomatoes and beans, you can easily find from the canned vegetables aisle of most any local Supermarket. I’m not advocating the Capri brand of diced tomatoes but it might’ve been the cheapest I spotted at the time I bought my ingredients.
I used this brand of dark frozen cherries (my fave kind of cherries) bought from S&R. It’s not cheap, but when have cherries been cheap in the Philippines? Correct answer is NEVER, in my lifetime at least. I’m so glad the splurge was worth it!
The cooking process was super easy. It’s mostly mixing things together, then letting it all boil down to a thick sauce. Look at all those pretty colours. I love it. My mouth is watering again. This is always the worst part about food blogging haha!
Having never eaten chili with any sort of fruit before, I thought this particular one was incredible. This chili is not too spicy but it has a decisive kick, plus a hit of sweetness. The tart cherries work so well with everything else, and they keep the heat at bay. That’s good news for people who don’t like overly spicy dishes.
By the way, I really urge you not to skip the yogurt and cilantro topping. The cool creaminess of the yogurt somehow highlights the heat and flavor of the chili even more. Delightful!
Cherry Chipotle Chili
Tangy-sweet cherries balance out the heat from the chipotle in this wonderful chili!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound ground chicken or pork
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 Tablespoon chilli powder
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 2 cups pitted black cherries, fresh or frozen
- 2-3 large pieces chipotle chiles (from 1 can) , diced, plus the sauce (use more to taste)
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup water
- 15 ounces canned white beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup plain yogurt, for topping
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for topping
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Season the ground meat with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir to prevent ticking and burning.
- Add carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in chilli powder until well combined.
- Pour in the tomatoes, cherries, diced chipotle, bay leaves, and water. Mix together until the ingredients are venly distributed and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and allow chilli to simmer, stirring just once or twice until the chili thickens. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, add the beans and mix together, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and discard. Add in the reserved chipotle sauce and give a final mix. Divide the chili among bowls and top each with some yogurt and cilantro. Serve warm, with cornbread or other desired accompaniment.
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