Sometimes my chili cravings get the best of me but then again what is really wrong with chili? Not a darn thing! It’s a meal, in a pot with protein, vegetables (usually), and a bushel of beautifully married spicy flavors. Of course, chili isn’t easy if you want to really, really, do it correctly. I don’t consider throwing baked beans and ground meat in a pot with tomato sauce a real chili; that’s only a good topping for chili dogs and fries. Chili, to me, is a sweet, savory, and spicy concoction in a bowl drizzled ever so slightly with hot sauce and perhaps a dollop of sour cream.
That to me is worth more than a Rembrandt painting.
But, anyway, who is this Jezebel and what’s she doin’ in the chili? Actually, Jezebel is the name of a few components in this chili that gives it the title “Jezebel Chili”. In the south, the Jezebel sauce is a mixture of apricot or pineapple preserves, apple jelly, and horseradish usually spread on cream cheese for a zesty-sweet dip or used in the glaze for pork and sometimes chicken. I thought it would make an awesome addition to chili and, of course, it was frickin’ fantastic. Again I have created another phenomenal chili if I do say so myself. You can alter the seasonings to your desire since I like chilis rather hot; although, this one was a tad on the sweet side which was perfect with additional hot sauce on top. You can also use different beans such as pinto, navy, or kidney beans and I think pork would be awesome in the place of the chicken, too.
I accompanied this chili, for an additional southern flare, with homemade sweet potato chips but feel free to serve it with cornbread or over a grain. Heck, I think over grits would be damn good too. Sorry for the extreme wording but this chili was really, really, good. The combination of corn, apple, and chicken just went so perfectly. I guess I’m just prone to liking southern cooking..and boys like my Phil.
Jezebel Chili 4 oz chicken, chopped coarsely ½ cup red beans, reserve some liquid 1/2 cup corn ¼ of apple, diced 1 shallot, chopped ¼ green bell pepper, diced ½ cup canned diced tomatoes, reserve liquid 1 scallion sliced thin, green & white part
1 tbsp Apricot preserve 1 ½ tbsp Horseradish 1/2 cup water Splash of red wine vinegar
In a good deep pot sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sauté the onions slowly until they begin to caramelize and brown. As this occurs, add the green onions and lightly brown them, followed quickly by the chicken. Brown the chicken lightly to a golden hue then add the scallions, tomatoes, water, beans, corn and seasonings. Bring this to a boil then down to a medium simmer. Cover and simmer on medium heat for ten minutes.
In a small cup or dish, mix the apricot preserve, horseradish, with a little bit of vinegar. Set this aside.
Once ten minutes are up, add the apples, preserve-horseradish mixture, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Cover again and simmer on medium heat for an additional five to ten minutes or until the mixture thickens.
You’ll know when its done - trust me. Adjust the seasonings again, such as salt and pepper then spoon into a bowl, garnished with sour cream and hot sauce if you desire.
Dang good eatin’ y’all!
If you desire to make the roasted sweet potato chips, simply pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut a sweet potato in even circles, ¼ inch thick or use a handy mandolin. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray, salt and pepper both sides then bake for 15 minutes per side until crispy.
If you wish to do this in a jiffy, cut the potato the same, season, spread out on a microwavable dish andpop it in the microwave for 5 minutes per side on high. Of course, time varies according to the wattage of your microwave.