As dedicated readers may recall, I do not like raw tomatoes. (Not-so-dedicated readers: I do not like raw tomatoes.) I dislike them to the extent that I often skip over recipes that call for them. For that reason, I nearly skipped over this one, and I am so thankful that I didn’t. Because while the recipe does indeed call for raw tomatoes, what the recipe has you DO to those tomatoes—first broil and char them, then pulverize them with jalapeno, then simmer them with chipotles and chili powder—transforms them into something that even I’m willing to eat:

Tomatoes, obliterated.

I’ll admit that I did find it quite satisfying to destroy the tomatoes so thoroughly. But even if you feel more fondly towards tomatoes than I do, this is a fabulous, smoky chili that is well worth making.

Note: in the photo, the chicken is in chunks, but on The Bitten Word, it’s shredded. This may be because I [failed to read the directions and therefore] didn’t cut the chicken into chunks until after I’d already seared it. Or maybe they actually shredded the chicken. I have no idea—either way, delicious!

Chicken chili
From Martha Stewart Living via The Bitten Word

10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 jalapeno chile, halved (seeded if desired)
1 white onion, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chili powder
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
13/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

Preheat broiler, with rack 3 inches from heat source. Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until starting to char, about 5 minutes. Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender or a food processor until chunky. Chop onion and mince garlic.

Heat a large heavy skillet (preferably enamel cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add oil. Working in batches, brown chicken in a single layer, allowing to sear before stirring, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chipotles, and add chicken. Raise heat to high. Add tomato-jalapeno mixture. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until fully incorporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in stock; simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans; simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.