13 February, 2014  |   5 Comments

Recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

Despite this being a slow cooker meal, there is a minor bit of finagling in this recipe.

It’s the word of my month.
February Finagling.

This entire month feels fussy, like the end of this recipe when you retrieve the chicken thighs from the chili, remove the skin and shred the chicken off the bone.

Between taxes, work, 40 handmade valentines (Insert Meaningful Look), weather that’s a drag and random childcare outages, the February Finagle is ON.

Good thing we have this cheap slow cooker black bean and chicken chili to come home to.

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

P.S. Sorry Pinterest. I tried a bunch of photos but they all looked gross. Good thing it tastes something awesome.

Great thing about this recipe, if you’re squeezed for time in the morning, you can prepare the whole mess the night before. Soak the black beans and add the ingredients (except the stock) to a large storage bag. In the morning of the day you’re cookin’, dump the bag into the slow cooker and call it a day. Or the beginning of a day.

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

16 ounces dried black beans
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
6 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons oregano
6 chicken thighs – 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to sprinkle over the thigh meat
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Mild Cheddar, shredded
Cilantro, destemmed and chopped
Green Onions, chopped small
Tortilla chips
Sour Cream
Hot sauce to taste

Right before you go to bed on the night before you want to make the chili, soak the black beans. Put the beans in a large bowl, fill the bowl with water up to about 1-2″ over the beans. Let the beans soak until the next morning.

The day of the cooking, drain and rinse the beans. Put them in the slow cooker.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, garlic, onion, chili powder, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and stir the mix together.

Peel the skin back from the chicken thighs. Salt and pepper the thigh meat. Cover the thigh meat back up with the skin. Set the chicken thighs on top of the bean mixture.

Turn slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, if you can, stir through every 2 hours. If you can’t, that’s okay, I love you just the same.

Roughly 1 hour before serving, remove the thighs from the chili, shaking off any beans that stuck to the skin. Set the thighs carefully on a cutting board, let cool for about 15 minutes.

After they’re not going to burn you, peel the skin off of the thighs. Then, pull the meat off the bone and set aside. Chop the chicken into bits. Then, stir the chicken back through the slow cooker. Add the salt.

Just before serving, chop and set out all the fixins.

My bowl of chili has cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro and a splash of Cholula (proudly served at Dennys!). Your bowl will probably look a little different.

(But I bet it’ll be super tasty.)

Do you like my beautiful eye shadow? I put it on to model this delicious bowl of Black Bean Chicken Slow Cooker Chili

5 thoughts on “Recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bean and Chicken Chili

  1. 1
    Greg says:

    The recipe sounds good. Several questions:

    1. Why not use boneless, skinless, chicken thighs? Is the loss in flavor without the bones and skin that noticeable?

    2. If I want to use canned back beans (since they are in my pantry), do I need to reduce the cooking time, and by how much?

    3. Usually opening a crock pot lid adds ~15 minutes to the cooking time. So, if I do not open the lid 3 to 4 times to stir, can I reduce the cooking time by about an hour?


    • 1.1
      Helen Jane says:

      Sorry for the delay Greg — answers ahoy!

      1. If you’re using dried beans, yes, the rendered fat from the skin makes a huge difference in flavor. Boneless with skin could work, but the skin needs to cook on.

      2. I don’t mind soft beans, but you could get by with 4 high hours in the slow cooker.

      3. Never heard that! I supposed you could, but would follow up with the slow cooker manufacturer people. Since we work long days, my concern is usually around the ability to cook something 10-12 hours since no one will be around to poke in on it.

      Thanks for your great comment.

  2. 2

    This looks delicious! I love a good slow cooker recipe – even if it might be a little fussy… I’ll deal. thanks!

  3. 3
    tania says:

    I made this chili this weekend without the chicken and chicken stock (we’re vegetarian) and the whole family loved it. It was so hearty and filling and wonderful flavours. We will definitely put this in our slow cooker rotation! (It was so easy as well!)

Hooray for replies!