Saturday, December 14, 2013

White chicken chili

This is the absolute perfect recipe to cook on a snow day! How convenient is it that a snow storm is about to hit us in the North East??

Even if you're not in a snowy climate right now, try this easy chicken chili dish. Dead simple, few ingredients, very quick and absolutely delicious! Try it and let me know what you think :)

INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 2 onions, peeled, 1 quartered and 1 diced
- 3 celery branches, cut in 3 chunks lengthwise
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut in 3 chunks
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced finely
- 1 green pepper, diced finely
- 1 jalapeno pepper (or any hot pepper you like - I would have used a poblano if I'd found it instead)
- 2 15oz cans of white beans (I used cannellini and small white beans), rinsed and strained
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 5 chicken thighs, bone in skin on, or a whole chicken cut in pieces (I just prefer dark meat, so I used only thighs)
- water
- cilantro and grated cheddar for decoration
- salt, pepper to taste
- a splash of olive oil
- 4 cups of chicken broth
Note: If you do not have chicken broth on hand, no worries! You'll be making your own in this recipe anyway.
Note 2: even if you are by yourself or just think that this will be too much food, this freezes wonderfully and always tastes better when reheated anyway!

Note: for optimal taste, prepare this dish the day before you want to eat it as the flavors will develop and blend together overnight.
- start with cooking the chicken and making your own chicken stock: place the chicken thighs, celery, carrots and the quartered onion in a stockpot. Salt generously, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, and simmer over low heat for about 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken meat is cooked through.

- Take out the chicken, strain the liquid and RESERVE it on the side: this is your own delicious homemade chicken stock! How easy was that??

- when the chicken is cool enough to touch, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat with forks or using your hands and reserve on the side

- in a pot (I used the same I cooked the chicken in to avoid too many dishes), saute the diced onion, garlic and peppers in a splash of olive oil over medium high heat until soft. Then add the beans, the chicken meat, ground cumin and stock. Mix well and and reheat over low heat

Note: if you think 4 cups of stock is too little or too much, just adjust to the consistency you like. Just keep in mind that the chili will thicken over time, so I usually make it a little on the runny side the first day so that it doesn't congeal too much the next day.
- serve hot, sprinkled with a healthy dose of grated cheddar and chopped cilantro (a little dollop of sour cream doesn't hurt either!)
- Enjoy!

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