Monday, March 28, 2011

I hate chili.

Considering work/internship/school has left me with so little free time that nothing gets done and I almost wore a dirty pair of panties to work today I don't have any exciting home decor posts lined up.  Never fear though, I scored an amazing vintage barrister bookcase this weekend from Urban Farmhouse so I will show it off  soon. 

Instead I thought I'd share a recipe.  I love to cook and bake.  This will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen my backside.  Recently in an effort to raise money for local food pantries we had a chili cook-off at work. 

Have I told you, I hate chili. 

Really, it's like the one food that if I am ever held captive for government secrets don't bother doing water torture, make me eat chili and I'll sing like a bird.  (Yes, I realize how many possible fart innuendos there are in that sentence.)

So to help raise money I decided to make a white chicken chili, heck maybe I'd win the cook-off with my dark white horse.   I made it the night before the cook-off and told E to help himself.  He loved it and I thought what the heck, I'll at least taste it. 

I ate two bowls.  I was almost ashamed of myself for always talking so poorly about chili in the past then I realized that this, this glorious creamy concoction was not was white chicken chili.  I guess I don't like the taste of chili powder or hard, gritty kidney beans but this chili was delicate, smokey and even I can choke down a few spoonfuls of cannelini beans.

Ironically, my chili was the only one that was entirely gone by the end of lunch.  Everyone loved it and begged for the recipe.  But, I didn't win.  The judges were purists and chose a traditional red chili.

So while the chicken is in the crock pot at home waiting to become chili I thought I'd share my recipe.  I pretty much made this up on the fly after reading pages and pages of white chicken chili recipes online. 

Now, because I made this up there are some variations you can try, I will note those in the recipe.

If you make it, let me know what you think.

Beth's Even I Will Eat It White Chicken Chili
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken boobs (or one rotisserie chicken, left over chicken, some form of poultry, you get my drift)
2-3 cans of canellini beans, rinsed (reserve 1/4 c)
1-2 cans of diced green chilies with their juice
1 large can of chicken stock (low fat/low sodium)
a glob of butter (maybe 2-3 T, I don't know, just use a glob)
a small onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2-1 t cumin
1/2-1 t dried oregano
1/2-1 c heavy cream
a large handful of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
sour cream
fresh cilantro

I cooked my chicken breasts in the crock pot in plain water all day or until they shredded easily with a fork.  You could also use a store bought rotisserie chicken, left over baked chicken or even grilled chicken would be good in this.  (In fact, the grilled might be really good, to give it that smokey flavor.)

In a large saute pan saute the onion and garlic in some butter/olive oil.  I used butter because I wanted the richness since this is a creamy chili (and I'm a fatty like that.)  Once the onion is soft (not browned) add the shredded chicken and the chopped green chilies (I used two small cans, you can use more or less) saute until all combined.   At this point add your heavy cream then add your spices; cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and let everyone fall in love.  Don't boil it, just let it simmer..think hot tub on low.  This will make it thick, glorious and creamy. 


This above chicken mixture is slap your momma good and would make amazing tacos or enchiladas.

Ok, back to the chili.

Once the chicken/chili/cream mixture is hot through and starting to thicken add the rinsed and drained beans (minus the 1/4 c you reserved, relax, I'll explain that in a moment.)

Now, my saute pan was large and high sided so I had lots of room.  If you don't, have a larger pot available and pour the chicken mixture into it.  Then add the chicken stock.  I added about 3/4 of a large can.  This is preference, if you like thick chili, add less, if you like it soupier...add more.  Rocket science, I know.

Take the 1/4 c of beans you reserved and beat the hell out of them, mash them up with a fork until they resemble humus.  Add this mixture to your chili.  It will naturally thicken the soup and give it some texture.  You can also add more cream if you want. (You'll want to, it's cream after all!)

Let simmer 30 or so minutes, then add a large handful of Monterrey jack cheese.  This too will thicken the soup and give it a creaminess. 

Serve with a glob of sour cream and some cilantro (ok and more cheese.)

The only "complaint" I got was this wasn't spicy.  I liked that about it though, it was "warm" and smokey from the cumin, but if you want something spicy you could add some Cheyenne or saute some jalapenos with the onion.  Personally, I like the little bit of warmth the chilies give it over something that will give you a ring of fire...if you get what I'm saying.  But it's your butt, do what you want!

Slightly sweet corn bread/muffins make this even better!


  1. I love white chicken chile beans! And of course, you see I am spelling it in the New Mexico fashion- what the purists would deem correct. Well, la te da..... I always make a large 10 quart pot of it, add my New Mexico green chiles (have to send away for them, then roast (char and peel) them, and they are delish. This is really all a bean dish, as in NM, we don't add anything to our chile except pure unadulterated red or green chiles and shredded or cubed beef (like steak or roast beef). No ground hamburger.... I think those darn Texans started that nonsense! Glad you liked your concoction. Sounds yummy.... Hope to see ya at the barn sale in May. We are gonna do lunch somewhere, so let me know if you want to meet up with us. ~ Sue

  2. You totally crack me up. So funny, loved this post. I will try this recipe. I don't know what that Monterrey Jack Cheese is though. My husband and some of his mates grow chillies and are always eating them raw, seeds and all. Hubster doesn't care how hot they are. I used to love the stuff, but had a bad experience once (my tongue bled - true!!). Now I stick to chilli in dishes, and only mild. I love a good curry though. Thanks for sharing this. I want to feature your blog in my Tuesday Talk About meme next week if that's okay?


  3. If I had a nickle for every time my store was mentioned in the same paragraph as "dirty panties"...I'd have a nickle, LOL. TOO TOO FUNNY!

  4. this is great!! cant wait to try it!!
    have a great weekend!