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Quick Red Chili

This recipe, adapted from Pam Anderson's Perfect Recipes for Having People Over (Houghton Mifflin 2005), makes a perfect Sunday supper. It's easy and good. It calls for already-cooked rotisserie chickens, which saves a couple hours cooking time. The seasoned, tender meat of rotisserie chicken works well in this dish. While it may seem like the recipe calls for a lot of chili powder, the chocolate rounds out the flavor. The recipe recommends a roasting pan but the chili can be made in a large pot, if you prefer. Just allow extra time for the onions to sauté and the chili to simmer.

2 store-bought roast chickens, meat picked from bones and shredded into bite-size pieces, bones and skin reserved

2 quarts chicken broth

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, cut into medium dice

2/3 cup chili powder

1½ tablespoons ground cumin

1½ tablespoons dried oregano

2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes

2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

6 medium cloves garlic, minced

1½ ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons cornmeal

Makes 12 servings

Combine chicken bones and skin, chicken broth and 4 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer until bones release their flavor, about 30 minutes. Strain broth into a large bowl. Discard skin and bones.

Heat oil in a large roasting pan set over 2 burners on medium-high heat Add onions and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to blend flavors, 25 to 30 minutes.

Stir in beans, garlic and chocolate and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle cornmeal over chili, stir in and simmer to thicken chili, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve with accompaniments such as sour cream, grated cheese and sliced scallions.

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