The weather has been a little bipolar lately. Warm and spring-like, followed by a fluke snowstorm, and now rain for three days straight. It’s the perfect weather for chili! I have this chili recipe I’ve made forever – whenever we’ve stayed at our family cabin or on a rainy day at home, but it calls for things like prepared barbecue sauce, ketchup, and brown sugar. Hello? Can we say sugar overload. I love the smokey, spicy, sweet flavors of barbecue sauce, but I don’t so much love high fructose corn syrup or the artificial colors and flavors. Even ketchup has a bunch of corn syrup in it.
Now that we eat clean, gluten free, mostly dairy free, and refined sugar is pretty much non-existent in our home, I needed a new chili recipe.
This made from scratch Barbecue Chicken Chili is a great one pot or Crock Pot meal. And it has bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?!
FYI when shopping for ingredients:
*It’s important to use SMOKED paprika to get the right flavor. You won’t get the same taste with regular, sweet, or spicy paprika.
*Uncured bacon is actually cured but done so without the use of nitrates or nitrites. It’s usually cured with celery powder and/or sea salt which makes it much better for you. However, not all bacon is gluten free (cross contamination or other added flavors). Always read labels and if you’re not sure consult the manufacturer’s website.
Barbecue Chicken Chili
- 1 lb. chicken, cubed
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 4 – 6 strips, uncured bacon (here’s one of my favorite gluten free brands)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth/stock
- 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 celery stalk
- 8 oz. can tomato paste
- 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 tbsp. honey
- apple cider vinegar
Barbecue Chili Seasoning
In a separate bowl combine…
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. ground mustard
In a large stew pot cook the bacon until it’s as crispy as you like. Remove to a paper towel. Once it’s cooled you can chop it into bite sized pieces. In the bacon grease saute the onion and garlic until they begin to soften and become translucent. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cut into chunks. Add the chicken chunks to the onions and garlic and cook until caramel/golden brown on the outside.
Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to get all the yummy bits off the bottom. Add in remaining ingredients, seasoning, and return the chopped bacon to the pot. Stir to combine. This can simmer for anywhere from 20 minutes on the stove to 4 hours in a Crock Pot. When you’re ready to eat just top it with some avocado chunks!