Of all the minor holidays in the year, I'm of the opinion that Valentine's is the most fun. I love low-key celebrating, all the hearts, and it falling in February means casual comfort food and staying in are a MUST.
This adobo chicken chili topped with cheddar biscuits (cut into hearts, duh) is checking all the boxes this year. It's cozy and familiar, with all of the festive feels I need.
There's a lot of smoky adobo flavor which I am loving in chili. Plus, in addition to cheesy biscuits, we do all the Mexi toppings. I'd like to classify this meal as low--key-special.
And the cheesy biscuits! We need to talk about these. You (obviously) can make these at other times of the year and cut them into any other shape. BUT IT'S VALENTINE'S AND I AM EXTRA ABOUT FOOD.
It's a pretty standard biscuit recipe, but add chopped cheddar to your food processor along with the butter (my most-loved kitchen appliance, if ever you were wondering such a thing) and whirl around until it's all pea-size. Serve them straight from the oven and they will be warm and filled with melty cheese.
Is this an aphrodisiac? Probably.
Inquiring minds want to know.
Where do I find chipotles in adobo?
In the Mexican food aisle of your grocery store! I get mine at Aldi. They're also on amazon. I've only ever seen them sold in 7-ounce jars, which is much, much more than you need for this recipe. In this post, I talk about how I store the extra.
Do I have to use beer?
No! I love the subtle flavor of dark beer in chili, but if you're in need of a substitute, chicken broth will get the job done. Use the same amount listed in the recipe.
Can I make the biscuits ahead?
I don't recommend baking the biscuits ahead of time, but you can freeze the cut biscuit dough and bake it right from the freezer! Place uncooked biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. Frozen biscuit dough will keep for up to 3 months. Frozen biscuits take about 5 minutes longer to bake at 425.
Does this mean you are abandoning the traditional heart-shaped Valentine's pizza?
Definitely not!! Our standard Valentine's involves an XL heart-shaped homemade pizza (you can see it here!). We are merely extending heart-shaped foods in our house to most of February.
Adobo Chicken Chili with Cheesy Cheddar Biscuits
For the Chili
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2/3 cup dark beer
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 - 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- For topping: diced red onion, Mexican cheese, avocado, lime wedges, tortilla chips, cilantro, jalapeno.
For the Biscuits
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
For the Chili
- Combine chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.Heat olive oil over medium in a large stock pot. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until they begin to soften - about 5 minutes. Add the spices and cook an additional minute. Stir in the tomato paste and continue cooking another 3 minutes. Pour in the beer and scrape the bottom of the pot to get any browned bits off. Boil for about 5 minutes to reduce the beer by half. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, adobo sauce, and pinto beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and submerge the chicken breast in the liquid. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove and shred. Return shredded chicken to the pot and serve topped with your favorite toppings + cheddar biscuits.
For the Biscuits
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Chop the butter and cheddar cheese into 1/2-inch cubes and place in freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter and cheddar cubes and pulse 10-12 times, until butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add the milk and run for about 30 seconds - until most of the flour is moist. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and gently knead the dough together. Press out into a 1-inch thick square. Fold in half and press out again. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Continue folding and flattening 3-4 additional times (this will help give your biscuits lots of layers!). Press the dough out again into a 1-inch thick disc. Use a biscuit or cookie cutter to cut the dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes, until biscuits have risen and tops begin to brown. Serve straight from the oven.