FINE. I finally gave in and got a Crock Pot this past weekend. I say “finally” because I feel like slow cookers are really experiencing a renaissance in this generation, thanks to Pinterest and other domestic-y sites – I’m one of the last 20something girls I know who didn’t have one. My wonderful midwest-raised mom was all about the Crock Pot when we were kids. I never really considered one for myself, but I guess time is a flat circle and all that. Just call me the Rust Cohle of mid-level cooking blogs.

Anyway, regardless of how it came about, the Crock Pot was a worthy investment. For the first time since, oh, March, Austin has gotten rainy and “cold” (aka, in the low 70s some of the time). Pair that gloomy, stay-inside weather with a weekend full of football, and you’ve got yourself an ideal situation. Sidenote: GO SEAHAWKS.

This recipe is just something I threw together on Sunday morning, and it turned out so well. The bonus: unlike a lot of football snacks, it’s completely healthy. Take about 10-20 minutes to prep this in the late morning or early afternoon, leave it on high for 4-5 hours, and you’ll have a hot, spicy meal just in time for the evening game.

Southwest Hatch Chicken Chili

If you don’t have a Crock Pot or other slow cooker, guess what? You’re in luck. You can achieve the same results by cooking low and slow in a stockpot on the stove. Just make sure you’ve cooked your chicken breast most of the way through and add ingredients from there.

Note – this recipe uses hatch chiles, grown in New Mexico, which are really popular in the southwest this time of year. If you don’t have them in your neck of the woods you can feel free to use whatever chile pepper you prefer. Canned chipotles are always a favorite of mine, and they’re easy to find in practically any grocery store.

Southwest Hatch Chicken Chili

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1c chopped carrots
1c butternut squash, diced (I was lazy and used frozen in this case)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 15oz cans black beans, drained (Use the kind with jalapeño & lime if you can find ’em!)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 11oz can corn (I used Mexican corn mixed with chopped pepper – olé)
1 4oz can chopped hatch chiles
2-3 tbsp minced garlic
2/3c chicken broth
1 tbsp cayenne powder, chile powder, or your favorite hot sauce
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chicken fajita seasoning (this is something I found in the HEB bulk spices section and decided to give it a go. It’s basically a mix of garlic, chile powder, and herbs)

This recipe was made in a 4.5 quart Crock Pot and was the perfect amount for six people.

Hatch Chicken Chili Ingredients

Layer the ingredients in your slow cooker. Vegetables on the bottom, topped with chicken, topped with all the canned goods, spices, and broth. Leave on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours. About 20 min before you plan on serving, remove the chicken and shred with a couple forks. (It should be fully cooked by this point.) Add back into slow cooker, mix together, taste the chili and adjust any spice/pepper/garlic levels, and keep on low or warm until you’re ready to dish out.

That’s it! SO easy, I’m telling you guys. I’m a total Crock Pot convert. Top with whatever you’d like – I’m a purist and keep my chili plain, but my friends of course love cheese, sour cream, corn chips, etc.

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