This was another one of those happy accident dishes. I just happened to have all these ingredients on hand. (Yes, there was a huge sale on roma tomatoes.) This isn't your typical chili, it doesn't actually contain any chili peppers, which I think would be a great addition, but I knew if it got too spicy, my kids wouldn't eat it. Plus, I didn't have any peppers on hand. (Work with what you've got, right?) That extra little zing that chili has is still in there with the cumin, paprika and cayenne it's just more 2 year old friendly than adding a jalapeño if you know what I mean.
My bestie, Abbie, actually inspired me for this dish! She makes chili far more often than I do and she told me how she put an eggplant in one time, so I had to try it out! The eggplant adds something really surprising to the chili. Because eggplant tends to absorb things if felt like the veggie equivalent to putting corn chips in the chili. Something I've really been missing since finding out we can't eat corn! Of course like everything else it's not an exact taste and texture substitute, it's more like it gives a similar quality, as if you've added some sort of carb, hard to explain, sorry. I guess you'll just have to try it!
The olives I used are awesome too! I found them one day when trying to find olives with no added anything at Whole Foods. They're pricier than a normal can of olives, but the only ingredients are olives and sea salt! They're super super salty though so they're best when used sparingly and mixed in with something.
2-2.5 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded (you can boil or use leftovers from a roast chicken)
1/2 large eggplant, chopped
18 medium sized roma tomatoes, chopped only remove the seeds from 3-4 tomatoes
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, diced
2 tablespoons oil/fat of choice
To taste: cumin, paprika and cayenne (you can start with 1/4 teaspoon each and see how spicy you want it to be from there.)
Sea salt/pepper to taste
Black olives on top, chopped (optional) these ones are amazing! But much cheaper at whole foods.
In a large pot melt oil/fat over medium heat on the stove top
Sauté onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms until soft, about 10-15 minutes
Add tomatoes and garlic, continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally
Once the tomatoes start getting very soft and having that sauce like consistency add eggplant (It’s very important not to add the eggplant too soon, if it’s cooked for too long it will start turning into mush and will absorb all the tomato juice/sauce.)
As soon as the eggplant starts getting tender add the cooked chicken and spices, cook just long enough to heat up the chicken