Happy New Year!
It would be downright irresponsible of me to start 2016 off with anything less than an easy, healthy one-pot meal that will feed your whole family. So here it goes!
This White Chicken Chili checks all of the boxes. I found the recipe on Averie Cooks and knew that it would be a hit after a quick glance of the ingredients. The fact that the spice level is mild to medium and can be adjusted to taste by adding the jalapeño seeds and/or a pinch of cayenne, suits my family well. The optional garnishes of sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips, avocado and grated cheddar cheese only sweeten the deal. I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken but as the original recipe suggests, you are more than welcome to make your own chicken or use any leftover chicken you might find in your fridge.
I mention this next suggestion because I have a couple of friends who are bean-adverse. If that’s the case, go ahead and decrease the cans of cannellini beans from two to one and puree the whole can. Just add a bit more chicken broth or water to the chili to compensate for the thickness. You’ll get some extra protein into the dish and no one will be the wiser.
We enjoyed this White Chicken Chili for a Winter Classic (that’s an annual hockey game played outside on a converted baseball or football field, for you non-hockey obsessed readers) lunch on New Year’s Day and plan on enjoying it again during upcoming Sunday football games.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
- 1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
- 7 to 8 ounces canned green chilis, don't drain (I used mild heat)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast your own chicken)
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see step 4 below about blending 1 cup of the beans with a splash of chicken broth or water)
- 1 Tbls lime juice
- 1 Tbls cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- 1/3 c fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
- tortilla chips, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream; all are optional for garnishing
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
- Add the onion, jalapeno, green chilis, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
- Add the chicken broth, chicken, cannellini beans including whole beans and blended bean mixture (take 1 cup of the beans, add to a food processor or blender, add a splash of chicken broth or water and blend until smooth; mixture should be thick. Add the blended bean mixture along with the whole beans to pot), lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Allow mixture to boil gently for about 7 to 10 minutes. It's unlikely, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your chili to be thinner, add 1 cup of water or as desired; you'll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end. For thicker chili, allow mixture to boil longer and reduce until desired thickness is reached.
- Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
- Taste chili and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference.
- Ladle chili into bowls, and optionally garnish with tortilla chips, avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately.