Thursday, November 3, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Exhausted does not even begin to describe me right now, y'all.  I feel like I am getting back into the "I'm so tired I can't move" portion of pregnancy.  That technically isn't supposed to happen again until the third trimester, but I guess that's not surprising since I never really had the "second trimester burst of energy" like most people said I would, either. 

When Dan got home from work on Monday, the following conversation ensued:

Dan: Hey babe, guess what, we're having a chili cook-off at work on Friday!
Me: That sounds so fun, I should suggest something like that at my office.
Dan: Yeah, I'm pretty excited.  I told them I'd bring chicken chili.
Me: (Rolls Eyes) Sir, you have never made chicken chili in your whole life.
Dan: (Looks at me and gives me his most innocent smile.)

I couldn't resist - the innocent smile gets me every time.  So, that's how I've spent the past three hours since I got home from work...making chicken chili for Dan to take to work tomorrow (Did I mention that he also has friends from work over playing poker tonight?  Yep, I cooked amongst all of the boy stuff.  Luckily Meagan and Fender came to keep Layla and I company for a little while, but he owes me big.)!  I LOVE my white chicken chili recipe.  It is pretty labor intensive, but well worth it in my opinion.  Plus, it makes a TON of chili, so normally I can freeze it and we can eat on it 2-3 times before it's gone.  We'll see how much is left tomorrow (hopefully not a lot, that will mean people liked it).  Anyway, I decided to share the recipe with all of you in case you ever want to try it.  The recipe (except for a few tweaks that I made) is courtesy of Ina Garten (Also known as Barefoot Contessa - if you've never seen her on the Food Network, you should tune in!  Love her.).  If you make it, let me know how it goes - and enjoy!


INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 1/8 cup minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 or 3 cans kidney beans (white or light red)
  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
  • Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the cilantro and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.
Note:  I normally alter this recipe slightly.  I put my chicken breasts in the crock pot, cover them with water, add some salt & pepper and cook overnight on low (at least 8 hours).  Not only is the chicken really easy to shred (falls right off the fork!), but an added bonus is that I freeze the left over :water" to use as chicken broth for chicken noodle soup or other recipes later on.  I also typically double the amount of all of the spices to give it a little more flavor - it gives it enough of a kick that it's delicious but not too much so that your mouth is on fire/you get heartburn (and trust me, I'm normally a wimp when it comes to spicy food).  After cooking all of the vegetables and spices, I dump those in my biggest crock pot with the chicken, tomatoes and beans and cook all day on low.  Additionally, when I decided on a whim one night that I wanted this but hadn't cooked chicken, I bought an already-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shredded it, and then followed directions on cooking (with the boiling and simmering on the stove instead of simmering in the crock pot all day).  Either way, delish!


FOR SERVING:
  • Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream


Happy cooking y'all - and Happy Friday!


Sarah

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