Spices are the secret to making a super flavorful chili! Using dried spices can add so much flavor, texture and heat to a dish. Dried ground spices usually have a shelf life of 6 months and whole spices will last up to a year, so ensure that your spices are fresh. If they don’t smell strong, it’s time for a new bottle. Store your dried spices in a cool dry place. This chili recipe has a variety of dried spices to give it a wonderfully complex flavor. Feel free to adjust the amount of spices to your taste. Dried cayenne powder packs the most punch. I give instructions for roasting the chicken separately, shredding it and adding it to the chili. You can use leftover chicken or a cooked rotisserie chicken as well. Finish the chili with a splash of sherry vinegar and/or fresh lime juice.
In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and peppers for 10 to 15 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Roasting the Chicken
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F. Let cool slightly. Separate or shred the meat from the bones and skin, or cut into chunks. Add the chicken to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. To finish the soup add a splash of sherry vinegar and/or lime juice and sprinkle on the fresh chopped basil. Serve the chili with the toppings of your choice.