Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Delicious White Chili

This recipe is adapted from a cookbook that a good friend gave to me last year.  I made this today and it is really REALLY delicious.  My husband loved it as did another couple.  Make it right now, Loyal Readers!

(It is also a Really Great Recipe for using up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. If you want, you can take a shortcut by using a good quality tomatillo salsa instead of making your own.  I've done it both ways with successful results.  I use either a fresh salsa from our local coop or Rick Bayless's Frontera Brand.)


1 pound Great Northern or Navy Beans 
8 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced


12 oz Mexican beer (not dark)
2 cups chopped onions
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (I used my own pickled hot peppers)
4 Anaheim or New Mexico green chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon crushed cumin seeds
1 & 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
2 T ground New Mexico Chile (I used regular mild Chile powder, but I will try NM next time)
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed by soaking (they are fun to me crazy)
1 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tsp. salt


Grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
Chopped avocado

1.  To make beans, rinse and pick over beans.  Place in large pot with water, garlic and onion.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2-3 hours or until beans are tender.  (Or, used canned beans or your own bean cooking method.  This method was pretty effortless.)

2.  To make the chili:  While the beans are cooking, place the beer in a large heavy duty pot.  Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, jalapenos, green chiles, oregano and cumin.  Simmer for 10 minutes or so.  ( I toasted the cumin seeds in a non-stick frying pan and then ground them up in a spice mill.  Already ground cumin would probably be fine as well.)

3.  Cut the chicken into small chunks, about 3/4 inch big.  Add to the pot along with the chicken broth.  Sprinkle in the ground chile and simmer for 15 minutes.  

4.  Place the tomatillos, minced cilantro, vinegar and salt in a food processor and process to a salsa consistency.  Stir into the chili.  Add the beans.  (I added all but about a cup of the beans.  Then I took that cup, combined with some of the broth from the chili and pureed it.  I added the bean puree to the chili.  It gave it a great consistency and a slight sweetness from the beans - a great foil for the tart tomatillos.)

5.  Simmer for 20 minutes and then season with salt to taste.  At this point, I put the whole batch into a crock pot and held it on low for a couple hours until dinner.)

Serve with grated cheese and avocado.  

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