I know it's not winter, and in Southern California it can't be said that we even experience a true one. But the nights have grown cold, the days are chilly, and sweaters, boots, and scarves are definitely being worn on a daily basis. If these aren't reason enough to begin making heartier meals, I'm not sure what is.
One particular meal I haven't made in years-as in when we lived in Charlotte almost 8 years ago-is our winter white chicken chili. It's not everyone's cup of tea (my husband isn't a fan), but it is every bit as delicious as its' beef counterpart and I'm willing to bet a little lighter as well. It takes a little preparation, but the end result is worth it. Follow along and make your own batch of this hot and scrumptious meal.
Winter White Chicken Chili
Yields approximately 8 bowls
1 roasted chicken (you can roast your own or save time and purchase at the market)
1 diced yellow onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cans of chicken broth (or 21 oz if you have one of those flip top containers)
2 cans great northern beans/cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1 can great northern beans/cannellini beans rinsed, drained, and mashed well
1 can green chili peppers
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt (to taste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
before you actually prepare the chili on the stove, you need to do some prep work. First take the meat from the chicken, removing the skin from it, then shred. Place it in a bowl and set aside. Next prepare your beans as indicated above and set aside. Make sure your third can of beans are well mashed as the starch released in the process helps to thicken your chili. Once your onions and garlic are diced and minced, heat the oil in your large pot over medium. Add the onions and garlic, cooking until onions are wilted and tender. At this point you will add your chicken and stir well to combine.
Once you've stirred things around, add your chicken broth, green chile peppers (optional), cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper (which again, is optional, especially if you have children that don't care for heat). Bring this to a boil.
Once your chili is bubbling away, reduce the heat to low and add the beans. be sure to stir well so the mashed beans have a chance to turn your chili into something creamy and dreamy. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it's heated thoroughly and the consistency has become less soupy. Taste before serving and add salt if you think it necessary. Keep it warm or serve immediately, either way your meal will please!
I love adding a little parsley for some something fresh and green, and other times, fresh corn for some texture. It adds a little crunch and is a deliciously sweet contrast to the other savory flavors. But we always add shredded cheese and sour cream. Why not, right?
Winter white chicken chili...will you be whipping it up in your future? I certainly hope so!