Are you sure this is chili?

Yesterday for dinner I made something that I was not sure would go over well with the children. At least, I was not sure it would go over well with one of the children. That child? Lance. He is my child with a sometimes picky palette. There is nothing wrong with that if he eats most of what he is served. I will confess to being sneaky.

At the grocery store on Tuesday, I found some interesting seasoning packets from McCormick. I was looking at the prices on Taco Seasoning packets because I had used the last of mine. Typically I am not in the market for these as I really do LOVE the Taco Seasoning from Penzeys Spices, especially their Chicken Taco Seasoning. That being said, however, I was out of my Penzeys Taco Seasoning and I just happened to have two packets of McCormick Mild Taco Seasoning in the pantry that I used when making the Fajitas last week. The thing about these McCormick spice packets is that they are MSG free. That is a big deal.

I was not impressed with the price on the Taco Seasoning packets, I would wait for them to go on sale. However, the packets that caught my eye were the ones for the Chicken Chili. What? I had never really thought about it. I had never really thought about Chili in general since giving up tomato products. Chili is a tomato product when you live in this part of the country. It should be warm in the spice and it should be beefy. That implies tomatoes. That is not going to work for me. Therefore, chili really has not crossed my mind. So these seasoning packets caught my eye. I grabbed two and threw them in the basket as the ingredients checked out as clean for me. I would be able to have chili with the family if and when they wanted to have chili again. Awesome!

Yesterday, was a chilly day outside. I am still not feeling 100% from the sinus infection I have and I needed something for dinner. Those two packets of Chicken Chili Seasoning were there still waiting on the table…waiting to be put away. They were mocking me, calling my name. We were having Chicken Chili for dinner. It was going to be quick and easy since I was tired with a headache and I was going to be rushing around fetching children from various schools and then rushing to get them to various activities in the evening. It was a perfect solution. Too bad I did not grab more than a couple of packets. I really did want to try them out before stocking them for a rainy day. I guess yesterday was as good of a day as any to try them out.

At any rate, I did not have all the ingredients the directions called for. In fact, I only had the chicken. Oh boy! It is good that I am good at improvising. No white beans for us in our chili for dinner. I did not even think about that when I bought them. Oh well. I read down through the “alternative” recipes on the package and we were in luck. Of course I would have to leave out the tomatoes in the “Southwest” version, but we were going to have better luck with this version.

What was I going to use for the White Beans? That was the question. There I stood in front of my cabinet. Keep in mind that we are not big bean eaters here at this house, so this could get interesting. I had the corn. I had the black beans. Chick peas! Awesome! We were in luck. So I made our Chicken Chili with black beans, corn, and chick peas. I did add a touch more water to it than the recipe called for. Just a touch. The sauce seemed to thicken up a bit quicker than I expected, so I tried to thin it back out. It worked out fine.

The thing was, however, is that Lance climbed up on his little step stool and looked into the pot as he’s asking “What’s for dinner?” I responded with, “Chili.” He looked at me with a look of complete disbelief. The look was priceless. “Are you sure this is chili.” I looked down at him and then down in the pot. “Yes, it looks very similar to Chicken Tortilla Soup, doesn’t it?” It does not get any better than that. I knew at that instant that my non-soup eating child was going to eat it. His eyes lit up. I pulled out the bag of shredded cheese and told him that there were still tortilla chips in the pantry. He scurried off to get them.

The Chicken Chili was a success!

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