Slow Cooker Spicy Mango Chicken Chili
The spicy-sweet combination in this chili makes it uniquely delicious. If you aren’t a big fan of spicy foods or are starting with a hot salsa, you may certainly forego the chili pepper; I have made this recipe with and without it. Once the seeds and veins are removed from the habanero, however, the heat is greatly reduced and the fruity undertones pair beautifully with the mango.

Yields 8-10 servings.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (may substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 pound sweet potato, chopped (about two medium or one very large potato; I keep skin on)
  • 1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of beer (may substitute low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 habanero chili pepper, seeds and veins removed and minced (may omit or substitute a jalapeño pepper; see notes)
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped (red or yellow)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 16-ounce jar mango salsa (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 slightly-rounded cup frozen corn (may substitute canned or fresh when in season)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend or cheddar Jack cheese (for extra heat, try Pepper Jack; for something more basic, cheddar or mozzarella may be used)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional garnishes: additional cheese; cilantro; lime wedges; chopped avocado or guacamole; sour cream or Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the corn and the cheese in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken to a plate. With two forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and return to the slow cooker. At the same time, add the corn, cheese, and salt.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes more or until the corn is heated and the cheese is melted.
  5. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish, as desired.
Notes
  • Mango salsa is available at most larger grocery stores.  I typically use Mrs. Renfro’s brand. My friend who inspired this recipe raves about a peach mango salsa by Desert Pepper Trading Company. Both are medium hot.
  • Habanero peppers are known to be HOT but this heat can be greatly mitigated by removing the seeds and veins.  (Wear gloves in case you accidentally touch your eyes after handling them.)  Once the seeds and veins are removed, this pepper has a fruitiness whose flavor is welcoming to other fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, and mango.  As noted, feel free to substitute with a milder pepper or omit.
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