I always take a vacation at the end of the summer. It’s a time of year that I love. Not only is the weather usually perfect – not too warm but still warm enough – but the end of summer and beginning of autumn feels like a new year to me, a new beginning. Maybe that’s because my birthday falls at the end of August, so September and the fall really IS a new year for me. I’m also a sucker for any change of seasons and how that affects our cooking and what we eat. It’s ironic that in the summer, when we have more time and the pace is slower, we tend to cook quickly or not at all. We grill, have cool salads, sandwiches, burgers. Autumn begs us to slow cook, braise and spend more time preparing meals, but we’re suddenly short on time with work to get done, school to return to, etc…
That’s why pressure cooking can be such a coup in the fall and winter. It gives us the great flavors and aromas that we’re seeking from braising, but it does it in one third of the time it would usually take on the stovetop or in the oven. I also love that a pressure cooker can forgive us for our forgetfulness or lack of preparation. It can cook root vegetables in minutes, make soups and stews in no time, and if we’ve forgotten to soak beans for chili, it can do it in five minutes for us. That’s how I was able to make one of my favorite chills – Chipotle Chickpea Chicken Chili – the other night in just minutes, using raw chickpeas. I was craving a delicious chili and the pressure cooker came to my rescue. It’s like having a kind, compassionate and forgiving friend in the kitchen to help you out, and I love having someone on my side during the beginning of the busy new year!
You can see a video of me and my friend making this chili here… on my brand spankin’ new Youtube channel!
Looking for a good pressure cooker? You can see me demonstrating a 6 quart electric digital pressure cooker all day on QVC on Wednesday, September 10th. Tune in!
Chipotle Chickpea Chicken Chili
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 to 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds chicken, breast or thigh or a combination of the two, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 3 bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange or a combo), chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or parsley)