Tuesday, April 8, 2008

White Bean Chicken Chili for the Spring

First off, thanks to everyone for all the nice messages about the race. My legs are finally starting to feel normal again! Now, on to the good stuff...

Though spring is here, the sun is out and the birds are chirping away, the SD nights are still cool enough that I have been craving a warm, tasty bowl of comforting chili. White Bean Chicken Chili is a wonderful transition soup: lighter than traditional chili, but still hearty and full of goodies. This recipe from the Dine and Dish blog starts with onions, garlic and chicken sauteed in a little olive oil. Adding water while the chicken is still cooking creates a flavorful broth. Half of the beans are then pureed with chicken broth, and added to thicken the soup along with more beans, extra sweet corn, and spices. I used fire-roasted green chilies (mild) to add depth, but not too much heat. Finally, I of course forgot that I had run out of chili powder so I quickly searched the web and found this recipe for homemade chili powder. (What did I used to do without google?!) . I let this baby simmer on low for a little longer than called for in the recipe to let the flavors meld. When finished (or when we were too hungry to wait any longer), I garnished the soup with fresh cilantro and served with a side of my favorite Trader Joe's Mediterranean bread. I'm glad it turned out well since we have enough chili to last us through the next two seasons :)

Kitchen notes: Be sure to use a big soup pot or Dutch oven. The soup filled my large Calphalon pot to the brim! Use a handheld immersion blender to pureé the beans and broth, if desired. I don't have one so I used my food processor and it got a tad messy. This soup is definitely better the next day as it has a chance to thicken up and the flavors have a chance to come out.

White Bean Chicken Chili
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces (I used about 1lb of chicken tenders)
3 cups water (I used 2.5 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 (15-ounce) cans cannellini or great Northern beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen extra sweet white corn
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped fire-roasted green chiles
3 tablespoons lime juice
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs

Sauté chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 7 minutes; add garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in chicken pieces, and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is lightly browned. Stir in 3 cups water and next 5 ingredients; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 10 minutes or until chicken is done.
Place 2 cans of beans in a blender; add broth, and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.
Stir bean pureé, remaining 2 cans of beans, corn, and chiles into chicken mixture in Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in lime juice just before serving. Garnish, if desired.


MrOrph said...

Perfect for a "chilly" day. I have a very similar recipe in my rotation. I think everyone should.

Nice pic. I wanted to get a spoon!

The Pink Cupcake said...

Looks yummmy! I love reading the recipes on your blog, this one looks great!

Anonymous said...

So yummy!! Glad you liked it :)