White chicken chili

I’ve cooked a few successful meat chilis recently, and have just been starting to get a feel for the generic structure of chili. Inspired by a random blog recipe, I decided to try a white chili with chicken.

The parts:

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chipotle en adobo, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce (to taste)
  • 1 box (32 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 cans Great Northern beans
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can red beans
  • 2 cans fire-roasted Green Hatch chilis (New Mexico style)

The process:

First prep the chicken: use scissors to quarter the chicken into 2 breast halves and 2 legs. Save the back and wings for stock. Put the chicken parts in a pot and cover them with stock, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is simmering, chop the onion and garlic. Saute the onion in a big soup pot (I used our giant blue Le Creuset oval pot). Add a little salt as the onion sautes. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic and chipotle and saute a couple more minutes, with a little bit more salt. Now add the cumin and a little adobo sauce. Be careful, a little adobo goes a long way! When the chili has merged with the onion mixture, add the canned beans and chilis. Fish the chicken out of the hot stock and set aside. Pour the hot stock into the soup pot and bring the whole thing to a slow simmer. Check the spices and salt level. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and add to the pot. Simmer the soup for around an hour or until flavors merge and everything is soft as you would like.

Serve over cornbread.

The verdict:

Vivienne, 22 months old, eagerly gobbled the chili until we brought out the cornbread, at which point she started yelling “Cake! Eat! Cake! Eat!”

The same dish with more green chilis and no beans would approximate a New Mexican chili verde. I’m intending to experiment in that area soon. The red and kidney beans look a little strange; an all-white-bean chili might be more visually appealing. I also want to try entirely meatless variations of this, with big, fat white beans and lots more chilis.

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