March 20, 2013 by wedandwanderlust
If you know me at all, you know that I have a deep love of tasty treats…otherwise known as “good food”. Gourmet or homemade, modern or traditional, I have come to a place in life, all thanks to my daring husband, where I will try most things.…brain and insects are on my “Do Not Ingest” list!
One of the perks of being a traveling housewife is that I am able to experience new restaurants and new foods local to the areas that we are in, and I have ample time to try emulate these foods and flavors in my own kitchen!
And if you really know me, you know that one of my favorite meals to cook is chili! It’s that default meal that I always fall back on when I don’t really feel like cooking or if I have to bring food to a potluck that I know will always taste good, please the masses, and most importantly, happily fill bellies with a healthy meal. My love and I even tweaked the traditional “unity candle” ceremony in our wedding, to a “unity spice” ceremony in which we combined two versions of chili powder to create a fabulous blend!! (I may be a little biased. ;) )
So you can imagine my dismay when I started having some health issues and had to remove tomatoes from my diet. My immediate response was “Not my chili!!!!” Alas, my common sense overcame my defiance, and I began to seek to out an alternate for my tasty treat. Then, my brilliant husband reminded me that his cousin in Virginia (who Riley and I got to visit with last week! She had so much fun running around with their Lab pup Mya!) made a white chicken chili when he went to visit her once. I seriously busted out in song and dance, and then went to find a recipe that would work for me.
As usual, one recipe didn’t satisfy me, after all, I had some very high standards if it was going to replace my beloved meal, and I decided to combine this recipe from Giada de Laurentis here and this one here. My concoction truly exceeded my expectations and made this chili lover very, very satisfied!
Six Veggie White Chicken Chili
- 1 lg. carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 lg. onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups celery, diced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 2 tbsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1-2 4oz. can(s) of roasted green chilies, diced or 1 jalapeno/green chile, diced
- 2 15oz. cans of Cannelini/Navy beans, drained & rinsed or 3.5 cups soaked Cannelini/Navy beans
- 6 – 7 cups of low-sodium chicken stock (I usually make my own stock, so I recommend using a low-sodium stock as I use minimal salt in my stock)
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 3 cups kale or spinach, or a mix of the two!
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, or goat cheese, crumbled
First, prep your first four veggies – celery, onion, carrot, and garlic, then take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the colors that are in front of you. Heat the olive oil in your pot on medium high, and once heated, place your veggies into the pot to sautée until onions are transparent.
Then add in the shredded chicken and all the spices, and stir until the spices have coated the veggies and chicken evenly. Allow to ruminate for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once you’re intoxicated with the wonderfully spicy aroma, pour in the beans, chiles, kale/spinach, and chicken stock and stir the pot to get all of the ingredients acquainted with each other. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 45 minutes at minimum, stirring occasionally. The greens will begin to wilt, beans soften, and the smell will take over every crevice of your home. The longer you allow it to simmer, the more the spices infuse and beans soften.
To make your white chicken chili creamy, stir in your cheese and cream. (I’ve even made a version without cream or cheese mixed in and it was still quite delightful! Just remove a couple cups of the bean/veggie mixture and use your immersion blender to puree and add back to the pot to help create that creamy texture.) Once added, allow to sit for 15 minutes on low.
Now in my humble opinion, there is only one good and proper way to serve chili –
Don’t like spinach or only have ground turkey, use what you have or what you like! Make substitutions or additions wherever you desire, and feel free to tell me about it. As you can see I love to try new things!
Happy cooking and eat well!