Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Creamy White Bean and Chicken Chili


A Two for Tuesday Recipe 

While it's still in the 90's here in south Florida, I have been craving chili, not the usual red bean and beef variety but a lighter, paler, creamier version. And my creamy white bean and chicken chili is just the thing to calm that craving. You can make this chili stove top and you'll be diving in, in under 40 minutes or use your slow cooker (scroll down for instructions) and have the warm, homey scent of the simmered beans, chicken and earthy spices greet you at the door, after a long day at work. All the work is done, and all you need to do is grab a bowl and a spoon to dig in.

Serves 4-6

2 white corn tortillas, chopped
1/2 cup of cream or milk
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 or more jalape├▒o (or chili of choice), white membrane removed and seeded*, finely diced.
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 ounces of tequila
1 lime juiced
1 quart chicken stock
2 cans green chilies
3 151/2 oz cans of white bean*, undrained, set aside 1/2 can
1 can of corn, undrained
2 cups of cooked and cubed chicken breast*
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Palm full of cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
Soak the chopped tortillas in the milk, set aside with the 1/2 can of white beans This will be blended into a thick paste to thicken the chili.*

Use a deep soup pot and heat it over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, onion and chili pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt, so that the onions release their juices and avoid browning.
Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and stir in cumin, oregano and garlic. Cook for 1 minutes or until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the tequila and lime.
Add in the next 7 ingredients, raise heat to medium high and bring to a low boil, then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
While the chili simmers, add the 1/2 can of white beans to the milk soaked tortillas, and using an immersion blender (or in a blender), blend until the ingredients form a thick creamy paste. Once the chili has simmered for 25 minutes, raise heat to bring to a low boil and stir in the bean-tortilla paste. Allow to simmer uncovered for the remaining 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle cilantro over soup as you serve it.

Serve with my Easy Does It Baked Corn Tortillas, a dollop of crema or sour cream, a sprinkle of jack or manchego cheese and hot sauce of choice. ENJOY!

*Recipe Notes:
If you want more heat in the chili leave the seeds in and don't remove the white membrane, as this is where the heat lives.
Recommended beans: great northern, cannellini and even garbanzo beans.
Store bought rotisserie chicken, saves time and money
You could use masa harina (Hispanic corn flour used to make tortillas) to thicken the chili, however, not everyone will want to buy at 5 pound bag of it. This method works and adds the taste that masa harina imparts when used as a thickener. After all, the tortillas are made with masa harina.

Slow Cooker Version:
Follow the same steps as above, but instead simmer in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours and high for 4.  Half hour before serving, stir in the bean-tortilla paste, and set to high for 30 minutes.

Freezes Well