This recipe came from my friend, Katherine Berkowitz, a fabulous cook and baker. Katherine often serves this chili to her family and they enjoy topping it with sour cream, fresh guacamole and blue corn chips.
1 box Spanish Rice A Roni (I’ve tried other varieties of Rice A Roni, but the Spanish Rice is the best in this recipe)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1-2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red sweet bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14 oz.) diced petite tomatoes, with juice
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toppings, such as shredded cheese, black olives, sour cream, cilantro
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium high heat, add oil; when oil is hot, add chili powder, cumin and spices from seasoning packet in Rice A Roni package; add cubed chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides, approx. 5-6 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside; add onion and bell pepper to drippings in pan (add a bit more oil if needed) and sauté until softened, approx. 6-8 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic to onion and bell pepper during last few minutes of cooking time. Stir chicken into onion mixture and add rice, tomatoes, beans and 2-3 cups of chicken broth.
Simmer soup over low heat for 35-40 minutes, adding more chicken broth if needed to desired consistency. Serve garnished with your favorite toppings.