March 2, 2012

White Chicken Chili

We decided to have a joint-family "Wine Night" once a month with some friends of ours. "Wine Night" is as it sounds; eating good food, drinking some wine, and letting our kiddos run around crazy while the parents chat. We designed it so one family hosts and makes dinner, and the other family brings the wine. I won't tell you how many bottles we consumed...but trust me, it was sufficient. I elected to host the first official gathering and decided to make a big pot of this chili and serve a side salad to go along with it. My thought process was that I didn't want to be fussing around in the kitchen all night...that would've cut into my wine-drinking time. We did a serve yourself buffet and ate out on our patio while the kiddos played in the backyard. The weather was perfect and we had a fantastic time--our first "Wine Night" was a success!

White Chicken Chili
From: The Pioneer Woman website

1 whole Fryer Chicken, Cut Up (or 3 Cups Cooked Chicken)
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 whole Cans Green Chilies, Chopped
1 pound Dried Great Northern Beans, Rinsed
8 cups Chicken Broth
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
1-1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt To Taste
White Pepper, To Taste
1 cup Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Masa (corn Flour) OR Cornmeal
Grated Monterey Jack, To Taste
Sour Cream For Garnish
Cilantro For Garnish
Guacamole (optional)
Pico De Gallo (optional)
Corn Tortillas (warmed)


Cover chicken and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove meat from bones. Set aside.

In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add chopped green chilies, then rinsed beans. Pour chicken broth into the pan. Add sliced jalapenos. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Place lid on pot and reduce heat to low.

Cook for 2 hours or until beans are done. Halfway through the cooking process, add 3 cups of cooked chicken.

When beans are tender, mix milk with masa (or cornmeal) and pour into the chili. Cook for an additional ten minutes to thicken. Check seasoning and adjust, adding cayenne pepper and paprika if desired.

Add some Monterey Jack cheese to the pot and stir to melt.

Serve chili in a bowl. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, extra cheese---even pico de gallo and guacamole, if you have some on hand. Roll up warm corn tortillas and serve on the side of the bowl.


This is a fairly labor-intensive recipe but oh-so-worth-it. I cut down the cook time by using canned beans (Great Northern and white Cannellini beans) and chicken breasts. Also, for some reason I had some thickening issues this time around. I made a standard roux (butter, flour, and a liquid...milk, stock, etc.) and mixed it in, which did the trick and gave me the perfect consistency. Lastly, I added in some sliced, button mushrooms that I had sauteed beforehand. Why? Well, they needed to be used. The mushrooms added a nice textural element to the chili. I don't have an updated photo, but trust me when I tell you this looked, smelled, and tasted delicious!

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