Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A New Twist On An Old Favorite

My husband was in the mood for chili, but I didn't have any ground beef or corn chips (in our house, chili really means Frito Pie). So, I decided to try my hand at white chicken chili. I had been wanting to try this for awhile anyway. I have an over-abundance of chicken on hand, because we buy it 20-lb at a time. I started with some olive oil and butter in my dutch oven, over med-high heat. I rough cut the chicken down to bite size pieces, but I refuse to cube it, since cubed chicken has always kind of grossed me out. It seemed unnatural and makes me think of processed meat. Anyway, I tossed the chicken in some oregano, garlic powder, cumin, ground red pepper, salt and black pepper. Then I browned it in the oil and butter, just cooking it for about 5 minutes or so, then flipping it to cook on other side, until just cooked and golden brown. I then removed the chicken from the pan, using a slotted spoon, and kept it in a covered bowl so it didn't cool off too much. I threw in chopped purple onion, chopped cilantro and the rest of my seasoning mix, which consists of the same seasoning I used on the chicken. Once the onions and garlic had softened, I whisked in about 4 tbsp of flour to create a roux (this is a thick base for soup, sauce or gravy).  I added in chicken broth, brought it to a boil then reduced to simmer for about 30 minutes, covered. Now, as you know if you've read my blog before, I don't like boring, one-color meals. So, even though the name of this dish is white chicken chili, I have to spice it up and make it pretty. After my chili had reduced and thickened up, I threw in a can of black beans and a can of corn, along with the cooked chicken and more chopped cilantro. This made it much more interesting. After it cooked a bit longer, to make sure everything was warmed through, it was ready to serve. I fill bowls with blue corn chips, topped with chili and finished with shredded Colby jack cheese. Voila! New twist on an old favorite. Here's the actual recipe.

White Chicken Chili

3lb Chicken Breast, cut to bite size pieces
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Butter
1/2 Medium Red Onion, chopped
4 tbsp Flour
4 c. Chicken Broth
1 can Corn
1 can Black Beans
2 Handfuls Fresh Cilantro (roughly 2 tsp once chopped)

Seasoning Mix:
1 tsp Garlic Salt
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Dried Oregano Leaves
1/2 tsp Ground Red

In a dutch oven or 4 qt pot, heat oil and butter over med-high heat. Toss the chicken in 1 tbsp of the seasoning mix. Add to the pot and brown, cooking for about 10 minutes, turning half way through. Once chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot using slotted spoon. Place chicken in a bowl and cover to keep warm. To the pot, add chopped onion, half the cilantro and the remainder of your seasoning mix. Cook until your onions soften, then whisk in the flour, sprinkling it in a little at a time to avoid lumps. Let it bubble a bit longer, whisking the whole time, then add in your chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, for about 30 minutes. Add in your chicken, corn, beans and cilantro and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to warm through.

Serve with chips and cheese.
Makes apprx 6 servings.  

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