Chunky Chicken Chili with Frito Topping

Chunky Chicken Chili with Frito Topping

This is a great gameday, snowday, or everyday slow-cooker chili recipe. Combining ground chicken AND chicken thighs, this dish is chunky and full of flavor. Serve it with a variety of optional toppings like cheese, sour cream, cilantro or parsley, green onions, and even Fritos (taking a page out of Chrissy Teigen’s original cookbook, Cravings).


Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4.5 hours


2 T canola oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tsp Large Flake Salt (divided into 1 tsp and 2 tsp)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, chopped
2 Serrano chile peppers, seeds removed and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained rinsed
3 T Mild Chili Powder (divided into 2 T and 1 T)
½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
½ cup chicken stock water
1 T white vinegar
Optional toppings: Fritos, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, etc.


Start by prepping everything — cut up the chicken thighs and salt them with the first teaspoon of salt. Chop garlic and veggies and place in prep bowls. Measure out chili powder, salt, other spices, and liquid ingredients.

Note: we make most of this in a Dutch oven and transfer to the crock pot for slow-cooking.

Turn your slow-cooker on high and add the whole peeled tomatoes, beans, 2 Tablespoons of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and chicken stock. Mix well to combine and use your spoon to smash the tomatoes a bit. Cover.

Heat canola oil in the Dutch oven on high heat. Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be starting to get soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, continuing to stir.

Add the ground chicken to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Add the other Tablespoon of chili powder and stir so that it coats the meat as it cooks. Now add your salted chicken thighs and keep watch, moving the chicken around as needed to brown all the pieces.

Add the Serrano peppers and red bell pepper to the chicken mixture and mix well again. Once everything seems well integrated and the meats are no longer pink, transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to the slow-cooker and mix to combine.

Cook on high in the slow-cooker for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If around hour 3 it looks soupy, remove the cover partly or completely to let some liquid escape during that last hour.

Before serving, stir in your Tablespoon of white vinegar. At this point, taste test and add salt, black pepper, or more red pepper flakes as desired. (Keep in mind that if you’re garnishing with Fritos, those are pretty salty.)

Serve with all the toppings you love! Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro or parsley, chopped green or white onions, oyster crackers, and yes, Fritos. Enjoy!


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