Fair warning: I have never actually eaten a jalapeno popper. I know what they are, but really my only association with them is this scene from Sealab 2021:
HESH WANTS POPPERS.
Also, I used chipotles, not the jalapenos (very reasonably) recommended in the original recipe at Savory Moments. I know, I know, it’s jalapeno popper chili, but first of all, chipotles are just better, and second of all, there is also bacon in this dish, so it helps to up the smokiness factor! Normally, I would have halved it, as well, but my parents were visiting so making a big pot of something was exactly what I needed!
“Jalapeno” Popper Chili
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, diced
5 chipotles, minced (I scraped out most of the seeds and it still had some heat to it! If you want it more fiery, leave some or all of them in)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 8-oz package cream cheese, cubed
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, or parsley, if, like me, you’re not going to inflict cilantro on yourself
Put the chicken in a pot and cover with water.
Cover and simmer until cooked through. I’m sorry, I didn’t check how long that took, but when it’s done, take it out and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the water.
In a big soup pot, cook the bacon.
When it’s done, take it out to drain on paper towels, and drain all but (about) 2 tsp of the grease from the pot.
Over medium heat, saute the onion, chipotles, and garlic in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
Add in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper, and saute another minute.
Stir in the tomatoes and 1 cup of the chicken water (or more if it seems dry; I added a splash more).
Add the corn, beans, and chicken and bring up to a boil.
Turn down (for what) and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the cream cheese until it’s completely melted.
Add the bacon and the cilantro/parsley and stir to combine.
You can serve it topped with cheese if you want, but I found it perfectly cheesy without anything else added.
My other problem, other than thinking “HESH WANTS POPPERS” the entire time I cooked it, was that I’ve been deliberately mispronouncing “jalapeno” for so many years now (thanks to this Trailer Park Boys scene) that it was nearly impossible to remember not to say “ja-LAP-a-no.”