Recipe for White Chicken Chili

White bean chicken chiliIt’s cold outside! I cook more now, but mostly as an excuse to have the oven and stove on. And to eat.

I’ve been trying to perfect my White Chicken Chili, and the answer came to me from an episode of America’s Test Kitchen–poach the chicken.

Poaching the chicken keeps it moist and flavorful and allows you to add  the shredded chicken into the chili completely cooked. No more dry chicken!

Assemble the ingredients.

2 quart containers of chicken broth (8 cups)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1T olive oil
2T Penzeys Minced White Onion, or 1 fresh white onion, chopped fine
1 t Penzeys Minced Garlic, or three cloves fresh garlic, minced
1T dried oregano
1 t ground cumin
1/8 t cayenne
2 T diced green chili peppers
4 15-oz cans of white beans, drained and rinsed or 1 lb of dried white beans, cooked

Poach the chicken.
Put the chicken breasts and 3 cups of broth in a Dutch oven and simmer covered over medium heat for 18 minutes. I turned mine over after the first 9 minutes. Do not boil.

Remove chicken onto plate to cool and strain and reserve cooking broth.

Toasting the spices.
Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Stir until fragrant. Do not brown!

Add diced green chilis and the reserved chicken broth.

Add in drained, rinsed beans, the rest of the chicken broth, and the chicken, shredded into bite-sized pieces with two forks.

Simmer covered for twenty minutes. Season with salt to taste and adjust spice levels, if desired.

It’s important not to boil. Boiling makes the meat tough and dry and makes the vegetables soggy.

If using fresh onion and garlic, cook the onion for 3 to 5 minutes in the olive oil until soft. Do not brown. Add in the fresh garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add in the other spices and procede from there.

Serve finished chili with fresh corn muffins or day-old rolls from the supermarket that were on sale. Like they’ll notice the difference.

I get diced green chili peppers in a small can and never use it all up in one recipe. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet, plop down 1 T portions of green chilis, freeze and save the green cubes in a zipper bag. Now you have portions ready for other dishes. Mark the outside of the bag with what it is, the portion size and the date saved.

Remember that the freezer is only a cold box and not a magic time machine, so use up within six months.

Enjoy, and let me know if you try out the chili.

What’s your favorite cold-weather food? Links to recipes welcome!

Check out my current giveaway here. Running through this Saturday. You can enter to win gift cards to Amazon and Starbucks.

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