Can I use ground chicken breast the same way I'd use ground beef in chili con carne? Do I want to?
Sure you can. I use ground turkey routinely. I also add some chipotle chopped up in adobo sauce for some kick. You can use dark turkey, or white meat or a combination.
Personally, if I had yet to buy the chicken, I'd poach chicken (either pieces or entire, and very preferably on the bone for better flavor) and shred it along the grain for a superior texture (ground and diced chicken tends to be more rubbery); I'd add it to the chili once the chili was removed from the heat.
I ate a little too much ground beef as a child so sometimes I do ground chicken or turkey and supplement with some hot italian sausage (pork) for fat/flavour.
I've been making this recipe for years, substituting ground turkey - or in your case, ground chicken - the concept is the same, however, you must change your approach. You'll want to build the flavors sans meat to avoid a dry chili, adding the meat at the end just until it's cooked through and has had a chance to reduce a bit.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Yield 8 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup salt pork, diced
¾ cup onion, medium dice
1 red pepper, medium dice
1 poblano chili, medium dice
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon each, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ pounds ground turkey
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Render salt pork until just crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, pepper, poblano, salt and pepper; cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon and cumin; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook until paste darkens, about 3 minutes. Stir in turkey and canned tomatoes, simmer, uncovered, until liquid reduces and turkey is cooked through but not dry, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro; taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with steamed corn tortillas