Tuesday, January 26, 2010

White Chili

I was not feeling so hot today, and was craving something comforting and warming...that would not require very many extra ingredients in addition to what I already had at home.  I adapted this recipe for White Chili at simplyrecipes.com, one of my very favorite food blogs.  While this recipe is a little time-consuming, it was completely and totally worth it, particularly on a lazy Sunday night.  Or a sick day.  Tasty, filling, soothing, great for leftovers, and pretty darned cheap.  Since I already had chicken stock, I decided to sub chicken in for the turkey in the original.  I also bumped up the seasoning, since that is how I do.

Click below for the recipe!

First, I boiled about 4 cups of water, poured it over about 1/2 a pound (about 1 and 1/8 cup) of Great Northern Beans, and let the beans sit for about an hour (you could also soak the beans overnight in cold water).  I think you could also use canned white beans, in which case, I'd shorten the next cooking step to about 20 minutes.  I would have done this, but there were no cannellini beans at the store.  Thanks, Soviet Safeway!

Once I drained the soaked beans, I poured them into a pot and added 4 cups of chicken stock, 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic and half of a yellow onion, diced (saving the other half for later in the cooking process).


Then I brought the beans to a boil, reduced the heat and simmered for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the beans were very soft.  I should note that about halfway through the cooking process, my little apartment started smelling like heaven.  I already felt better.

Also, if the liquid in the pot looks a little low before the beans are ready, you can add a couple of splashes of chicken broth.  Make sure to stir every half hour, so that the beans don't stick to the bottom.

Just before the beans were done, I heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then added one chopped and seeded serrano pepper, along with the other half of the onion, diced.

I like my onions super-soft, so I sauteed this mixture for about 10 minutes, until the onion was nice and translucent.

Next, I added two 4-ounces cans of chopped green chiles, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, a pinch of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and mixed everything up well.

At this point, I added the onion mixture to the beans, then added 2 1/2 cups of cooked chicken.  Now, I've never actually bought cooked chicken from Safeway before, but given the amount of time I spent preparing the beans, I didn't feel like taking the extra step of cooking chicken.  And thus:

Once I added the chicken (I used mostly the dark meat, because, again, that's how I do), I added another 1/2 cup of chicken broth, simmered the chili for another 10 minutes, until the beans were really soft and the chicken was heated through, and added just a touch of kosher salt (about a 1/2 teaspoon).

I topped my chili with a little cheese and sliced avocado, because that's what I had, but you could also top it with cilantro, or chopped tomatoes, or green onions, or whatever you'd like!  I'm looking forward to eating this for lunch for the next couple of days.

List of ingredients:
1/2 lb Great Northern Beans
4 1/2 cups chicken stock (with some extra, just in case the chili needs it)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 serrano pepper, chopped
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
Kosher salt

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