Today’s Shredded Chicken Chili was my fifth preparation in mere weeks, along with strict instructions in my house that no one was to eat the Shredded Chicken Chili, that is, until I could finally photograph it! No kidding, Shredded Chicken Chili is so good that each time I’ve made it, it near immediately gets emptied from the pot barely upon its finish. Making pre-menu planning easy, I’ve already determined its status as ‘in’ for January’s Super Bowl Party!
Outside of some chopping prep, and the additional sprinkling of spices into the combination it couldn’t get much easier. I whipped up an impromptu batch of this dish one evening when my sister Carolyn, and her husband, Roger were in from Vegas, and so, the following evening, after preparing what I thought to be a lovelier dish for dinner, they actually wanted more Shredded Chicken Chili. I thought they were kidding. Sure enough, in the midst of the meal out came the small bowl of remaining leftovers, warmed up and near scavenged by the group.
I would have even prepared the Shredded Chicken Chili over the weekend for our little Tailgate following the wine tasting at the 25th Anniversary celebration of Nicola and Chris who were visiting from Wales. Rebecca, ‘Becks’, daughter of Nicola and Chris coordinated the special event shared with some of our former American University field hockey team families where we gathered, along with a couple of the current senior families, out at The Winery at Bull Run in Centreville, Virginia. Though since we didn’t have access to electrical for crock pots at the venue, some of hot platter foods, including Mark’s amazing smoked pulled pork, flavored with Noreen’s homemade barbecue sauce, were provided by those who lived a bit nearer by. And so on this day, Philadelphia Hoagies from the local ‘Pudge’s’ became our ‘tailgate-picnic’ contribution for the day, then not requiring me to prepare the Shredded Chicken Chili for the 6th occasion within a short span of weeks. The weather was spectacular as we gathered around the grounds picnic benches for the festivity while catching up on the latest news.
But first, after greetings and the surprise unveiled in the arrival of our Anniversary Couple was a ten selection wine tasting out at a sort of barn shed area. As it turned out, our wine presenter happened to be getting his Master’s degree at American University which made our wine tasting session all the more fun.
Beginning from the top, and the most popular white wine among our group was Lilly’s Viognier, named after the vintners daughter, though she is just three, so it shall be awhile before she sets to tasting her namesake, which is for lack of real articulate wine speak, quite clean, dry, though with some hint of fruit, and very, very delicious.
Our collective favorite red which I did not photograph while too busy making merry was the Meritage, a full bodied, somewhat dry, also quite delicious wine, although we most all enjoyed both of every red, and white wine tasted upon our samplings, well all but one, whose name I cannot recall but whose sediment was part of its unique taste. While I can’t claim to be a sophisticate of wine, still, I am quite particular towards distinctive flavor. If like me, you aren’t so knowledgeable, you might not be expecting so much when you visit some of the local Virginia wineries, that is until you taste one excellent wine after the next, and then you learn a bit on the history of Virginia wines, and where its wine production now stands. According to the Winery at Bull Run website, “Virginia is now fifth in the United States in number of wineries; only California, Oregon, Washington state, and New York have more.” The Bull Run wine tasting was my second Virginia wine experience and both have been impressive though with a favor toward Bull Run depths of taste.
This is Becks in the photo capturing the delight of the day.
The Winery at Bull Run according to the local history on the website is adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park, “The grounds of two American Civil War battles, the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Bull Run which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862 (also known as the First Battle of Manassas and the Second Battle of Manassas, respectively). The peaceful Virginia countryside bore witness to clashes between the armies of the North (Union) and South (Confederacy), and it was here that Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson acquired his nickname “Stonewall.””
An easy three hour drive from Philadelphia (and only a half hour outside of D.C.,) the Fairfax county area is well suited for a day trip both for Civil War buffs visiting historical sites, or for those like us, gathering together with friends in celebration, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the grounds, setting up a bit of a Tailgate -Picnic at the numerous picnic tables with beautiful views, and relaxing sharing bottles of some spectacular wines.
And here’s our group of dear friends, and continued American field hockey team fans.
Of course, and here are our favorite gals who brought us all together in the first place!
Our seniors, Isabelle Terwindt from the Netherlands, far left, and goalie Kate McBeath, center, were not able to join us in the actual “wine tasting” of the day with a big week of training for the Patriot League Championship games ahead, but had lots of fun too, nevertheless.
I did happen onto a nice snapshot of our goalie, Kate McBeath (aka: McBeast behind the cage) with her mom, Molly. We wish all of the team a very successful Patriot League Championship!
As our day came to a close, our 25th Anniversary couple, Nicola and Chris cut the cake, we had them exhibit the traditional feeding each other the slice to cheers and well wishes. What a beautiful memory shared out at The Winery at Bull Run. Happy 25th and many more happy, healthy, and abundant years ahead Nicola and Chris!
And for the fabulous Virginia wines, including those at The Winery at Bull Run, well I’m positively certain, whether tailgating or not, they’d sure go great with Shredded Chicken Chili!
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded, chopped
- 2-4 fresh hot green peppers, jalapeno or long hot, seeded, chopped fine
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon Mexican chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste at end of preparation
- 2 28 ounce (800g) cans whole plum tomatoes with juices
- 2 21 ounce (595g) cans chili pinto beans in medium spicy sauce
- 2 cans 15.5 ounce (439g) Northern or Cannellini white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans 15.5 ounce (439g) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small 4-5 pound roaster chicken, directions below
- Remove any inside pieces from chicken cavity, place the neck into a stock pot. Fold back the skin on the top of the chicken and remove the breast pieces. Place the whole chicken and the breast pieces into the stock pot and fill with cold water to just above the chicken. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to very low and simmer chicken. Proceed in preparing the chili. Remove chicken breasts to a cutting board after about 45 minutes and continue cooking the whole chicken for another 30-45 minutes. Turn off heat, let broth cool a bit then remove the whole chicken transferring to a large bowl. Using two forks shred the chicken breasts. Remove all of the chicken meat, shred, then combine with the shredded chicken breasts. Set chicken aside until around fifteen minutes or more before finishing the chili. Freeze chicken broth or use for a soup or any dish calling for chicken stock.
- Add olive oil into a large soup pot, turn temperature to very low heat, add the onions, cook for two minutes. Tumble in celery, red pepper, and hot green peppers, stir, and cook the mixture around ten minutes before scraping in the garlic and cooking another minute or two. Sprinkle over the coriander, cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, and salt, stir, and cook for two minutes before toppling in the plum tomatoes, stir, pressing down on tomatoes a bit to break them up, increase heat to low and cook mixture for ten minutes. Add in the beans a can at a time, stirring throughout. Simmer bean mixture around thirty minutes stirring occasionally between. Stir in the shredded chicken and simmer another fifteen minutes. Check seasoning. Chili is now ready but continued simmering for a bit longer will further infuse the flavors. Serve hot with some grated cheese on top.
- Shredded Chicken Chili is delicious the next day and freezes well.