Challenge: Chopped Chicken Chili


For this week’s Editor vs. Food, my fellow editors chose to give me a different kind of challenge than we’ve ever done on before: Chopped — Spoon style. At first I was a little wary, I didn’t want to have to go out and buy a bunch of ingredients just to do the challenge (that is so not the college way).

Instead, the goal of the challenge is to incorporate the chosen ingredients into a single meal — I decided to take this a step further and use all of the ingredients in a single dish! As the recipe section editor, I figured that the added difficulty would let me show off a little. Okay, a lot. The ingredients that were chosen for me to use were as follows: black beans, apple juice, broccoli and Ritz crackers. Luckily, I had the majority of them right in my kitchen.

Once I got the list, I did what any sane person looking for recipes would do: I did a Google search on what I thought would be the strangest ingredient combination, black beans and apple juice. To my surprise, I found a recipe by a poor college student that cooked his black beans in apple juice with some added spices. Then an idea came to me — I could make a black bean broccoli soup! After some more thought, I decided that probably wouldn’t be the most flavorful thing in the world, and I started searching my pantry and fridge for more tasty things to incorporate. I pulled out some red onions, leftover corn, frozen chicken breasts and a can of tomatoes, and realized that I could try my hand at some kind of black bean chicken chili that utilized all my Chopped ingredients, and then some.

Photo by Alex Weiner

And let me tell you, for being a jumble of random ingredients, this chicken chili turned out way better than anticipated. The sweetness of the apple juice went perfectly with added spices, and made for a hearty meal with loads of leftovers. So, next time you’re rummaging around your kitchen for ingredients, try making some combinations you might not have thought of before; it might just challenge you to create your most delicious recipe yet. Or you might get chopped — but that’s the fun of it, right?

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 3-4 bowls

2 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into cubes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen broccoli, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 packet chicken flavored ramen seasoning (or bouillon)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 package of Ritz crackers
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine black beans, broccoli and apple juice in a large saucepan, bring to a boil.

Photo by Alex Weiner

2. Add ramen seasoning, turn heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Photo by Alex Weiner

3. While your beans and broccoli are cooking, melt some butter in a frying pan. Add the onion and corn and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Photo by Alex Weiner

4. Stir in chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and oregano.

Photo by Alex Weiner

5. Add chicken, and cook until slightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Photo by Alex Weiner

5. Add in tomatoes, stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Photo by Alex Weiner

6. Combine chicken and veggie mixture with beans and broccoli — carefully!
7. Garnish with a few Ritz crackers*, and serve.

Photo by Alex Weiner

*Tip: If your chili is thinner than you would like, crumble a few crackers right into the pot to thicken it up. 

The post Challenge: Chopped Chicken Chili appeared first on Spoon University.