What could be better on a cold night than a bowl of homemade White Chicken Chili, especially one made extra-easy (if you like) with a rotisserie chicken?
– Donald Justice, poet,
after losing his mother
In much of the country, we turn back the hands of the clock in late autumn, creating the illusion of a gifted hour.
My first job, I rode the bus to work. Frugality was the reason but I soon treasured the rhythm: workward, reading the morning paper; homeward, reading a book.
But after the fall time change, as the bus lumbered through neighborhoods whose names not residents I knew, I ignored my book and instead peered through thick glass. On the Mondays and some times the Tuesdays and even the Wednesdays, folks had yet to adjust their evening routines: the drapes, the blinds, the curtains, they all remained open.
So the bright lights of kitchens and front rooms spilled into the dark, illuminating the families cocooned inside the warmth of their homes in living panoramas, mothers at the stove, kids at the table with schoolwork, the flicker of television in another room.
It was indeed a gifted hour, one I repeat, now on foot with the dog, each year.
WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 9 cups
- 1 pound chicken breasts, diced
- 1-1/2 cups (14 ounces) chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 8 ounces canned chopped mild green chilies
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 28 ounces canned white beans, rinsed
- 14 ounces canned corn, including liquid
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (don't skip)
- 2 cups half ‘n’ half or fat-free half 'n' half
- 1/2 cup low-fat (not non-fat) sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, optional
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a large, heavy pot, cook chicken in splash of the chicken broth in a Dutch oven over medium heat until cooked. Heat remaining broth in microwave. Transfer chicken to a dish to hold.
In the same pot, melt the butter with the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the water, onion, red pepper, garlic and chilies; cook until onion is soft.
Sprinkle the flour over top and stir in, let mixture cook 1 minute.
Stir in hot stock, cooked chicken, beans, corn and vinegar. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 90 minutes.
Stir in half ‘n’ half, sour cream and Tabasco; rewarm but do not allow to boil, otherwise the mixture will curdle.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
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