FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STEW LEONARD'S TAKES HOME PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD AT THE NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL CHILI COOK-OFF
SOMERS, CONN., May 11, 2007 — Stew Leonard’s Chicken Chili took home the People’s Choice award at the New England Regional Chili Cook-Off, held on Saturday, May 5 in Somers, Connecticut.
More than 1,000 people and 40 judges from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts attended this International Chili Society sanctioned event, to determine whose chili was the hottest in New England. Participants paid $5.00 to taste the 30 chilies entered into the competition, with all proceeds going to the Enfield Connecticut Food Shelf.
“It is an honor to receive the People’s Choice award, because we were up against some of the best chili chefs in New England,” said Stew Leonard’s chef Art Weiss, who developed the recipe with fellow Danbury store chef Mike Olbrys. Both chefs were at the Cook-Off to represent Stew Leonard’s and prepare the chili onsite at the event. “Ever since we introduced the Chicken Chili at Stew Leonard’s, it has been a top-seller, but now we can say its ‘award-winning’ chili, too!” said Weiss.
The chefs will not divulge their secret recipe, but suggest that it is the combination of white and dark chicken meat, three types of beans, chipotle chilies and fresh cilantro that make Stew Leonard’s Chicken Chili standout. It is made fresh daily at the store and sold in quart-size containers in the Mrs. Leonard’s Gourmet section of the store.
Here is a version of Stew Leonard’s Chicken Chili that you can make at home
Three-Bean Chicken Chili
From Stew Leonard’s Winning Recipes Cookbook
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ pounds ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon light chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle paste
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) small white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
In a stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook well, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink
Add the tomatoes, chili powder, sugar, cumin, chipotle paste, salt and black pepper. Stir to mix well and cook for 10 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the white beans, pinto beans, and black beans and cook for 15 minutes, or until the flavors are well blended. Stir in the corn and cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Makes 12 servings.
Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has four stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington Conn. and Yonkers, N.Y. The company was named among FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work” for the past six consecutive years. For more information, visit Stew Leonard’s website at www.stewleonards.com.
For more information on the New England Regional Chili Cook-Off, visit http://chilict.tripod.com/.