Shredded Chicken Chili & The Winery at Bull Run in Virginia.
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 today’s Shredded Chicken Chili 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 the finish. 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, Shredded Chicken Chili 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 Las Vegas, and then on 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 nearly 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.
Since we didn’t have access to electrical outlets for crock pots at the venue, some of the 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 Philadelphia Hoagies from the local ‘Pudge’s’ became our ‘tailgate-picnic’ contribution for the day 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 and picnic benches for the festivity while catching up on the latest news.
But first, after greetings and the surprise unveiling in the arrival of our Anniversary Couple, Nicola and Chris, there 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 vintner’s daughter, though she is just three, so it shall be a while 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, though we most all enjoyed both 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, 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 about 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’s 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!
Shredded Chicken Chili & The Winery at Bull Run
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, pith removed, chopped
- 2 hot green peppers, seeded, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon each coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, Mexican chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- couple pinches coarse kosher
- 28 ounce can can of whole tomatoes with juice
- 16 ounce can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
- 16 ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed
- 16 ounce can pinto beans in spiced sauce
- salt, plus more according to taste
- few grinds cracked black pepper
- Preparing the Shredded Chicken: Set raw chicken breasts into the bottom of a saucepan, cover with cool water to cover by around two inches, throw in a bay leaf and a few peppercorns, bring water to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 8-12 minutes until chicken is just done, let cool down in the seasoned water, remove the cooked breasts, tear chicken lengthwise into shreds then cut long shreds in half, transfer to a bowl until adding to the Chili
- Preparing the Chili: On very low heat, add olive oil to a large sized soup pot, stir in the onions, celery, red pepper, and hot green peppers, cook the vegetables around ten minutes, scrape in the garlic, cook two minutes
- Sprinkle in the coriander, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and the cayenne pepper, stir, cook two minutes then topple in the plum tomatoes, stir, pressing down on tomatoes to break them up, increase heat to medium low and cook mixture for ten minutes
- Add in the beans, stirring throughout, reduce heat to very low and simmer around thirty minutes, stirring occasionally
- Stir in the shredded chicken and simmer another fifteen minutes, add in the salt and pepper, check seasoning, adjust to taste
- Chili is now ready but continued simmering for a little longer will further infuse the flavors. Serve hot sprinkled with grated cheese