Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Maui Chili

I am still on the luau wave!! A few months ago I was surfing the web and found a recipe for something called Maui Chili. It is a recipe created by a Maui native named Mickey Steinborn. He has a Hawaiian shirt website as well as a website for this chili. Check out his website at I read through the 3-1/4 page recipe (it is very entertaining) and decided that I HAD to try making this chili. I was thinking about the January 30 luau for the teachers at Winfield Elementary but I didn't want to make it for them without trying it myself first. I went shopping and bought most of the ingredients over the weekend. I did have some of the items in my pantry. I didn't use all the Hawaiian items he suggests because they weren't available at my local market. It would have been nice to be able to buy a Hawaiian pineapple or a Maui onion but I didn't have that option. I reduced the amounts of everything by 1/3 because I wasn't making 20 quarts of the stuff. I will give you the portions that I used so you don't have to take the time to do it yourself. I reduced the amount of all the spices because I couldn't bring myself to use 1/3 or 2/3 of a cup of chili powder or cayenne pepper. If you have the "guts" to do it, then please do and let me know how it turns out. In Mickey's recipe, he indicates that we should chop the whole jalapeno pepper and include the seeds but I didn't do that. He is right about the seeds adding the heat. I was afraid to add them but at the end when the sauce was a bit too mild, I added several dashes of Tabasco sauce to spice it up. I guess I should have gone ahead and added the seeds or more of the cayenne pepper. I'll work on adjusting the spices next time I try making this chili. Please go ahead and add the seeds if you like your chili hot. I really did buy and cut up a whole pineapple although it was from Costa Rica not Hawaii. I also bought, peeled and chopped fresh ginger root. I guess you could use the powdered stuff but it was a good excuse for me to try using the fresh kind. I put everything into a slow cooker on high for about 2 hours and switched it to low for another 4 hours. I cooked this chili for a total of about 6 hours in my slow cooker.

I had plenty of doubts that this chili would be any good. I almost decided not to make it but I forged ahead anyway. I didn't find any reviews from people who had actually tried the recipe and that made me even more nervous but believe me this chili is really amazing.

Maui Chili Recipe (reduced by 1/3)

2 lbs chicken breast
6 oz. beer
4 oz. water
2 large organic bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange)
6 to 8 cloves garlic (crushed)
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh shredded ginger root
1 sweet onion
1/3 of a fresh pineapple (about 1 cup)
2 shredded organic carrots
2 green jalapeno peppers (chopped)
2 stalks of organic celery (chopped)
1 tablespoon basil
2 tablespoons oregano
1/2 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon soy sauce (light)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 14-1/2 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes (chopped)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons honey
2 Bay leaves
2-4 tablespoons yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Put the olive oil into the slow cooker and let it heat up.
2. Add onions and other vegetables and pineapple.
3. Add all liquids.
4. Add chicken.
5. Add all spices.
6. Add all tomato ingredients.
7. Add honey.
8. Add yellow corn meal slowly throughout the cooking process to thicken the chili.

Don't be afraid to try this chili because of the ginger and pineapple. It has a really nice taste. The combination of ingredients sounds like it would be terrible but it blends well in the end and tastes fantastic. We especially enjoyed this chili over jasmine rice. B and I both thought that if we could have added peanuts it would have been a nice touch to give the chili a bit of crunch. It isn't recommended in the recipe or on the Maui Chili website but we thought it would be a nice addition. Of course, we can't because of D's allergy to peanuts. Too bad.


The Creative Cook