Sunday, August 1, 2010

White Chicken Chili

My versions of chili always consist of using leftover meat. So this recipe assumes that I made rotisserie chicken the night before (or two nights, but not more.) My family eats the chicken and we always seem to have enough for something else as well. So here it goes.

Take my left over chicken carcass complete with meat attached and put in a big pot with enough water to cover. Bring to boil, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about an hour.

Drain the chicken in a colander but drain the stock into another pot. This is your chicken stock.

Let the chicken cool a little (just until you can attack it without bodily injury.) Go ahead a strip it. Get all the meat and discard the rest. The meat should be easily shredded by hand, but don't worry. It will keep breaking up in the last step, so you can leave it in big chunks for now.

Now for the chili part.

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 whole can diced green chilies, do not drain - we want the liquid
1 pound dried great northern beans - white ones, rinse
10 cups chicken broth - this is approximate and will vary so just use the stuff you just made and we can add more later. Some people like thick stew like chili and some people like thin soup like chili so this is a place to add your personal touch
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 - 2 cups whole milk (this makes it creamy - if you don't want creamy, then adjust the water)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Grated Monterey Jack cheese and avocados are our favorite toppings.

You can always add sour cream, guacamole, chopped, fresh cilantro, pico do gallo, Fritos, etc. for toppings. To quote my favorite line from Tortilla Soup: "I love toppings. Sometimes I go to restaurants and I just order toppings."

Saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Pour into the pot with the chicken stock (from above) and add the green chilies and rinsed beans, cumin and a little salt and pepper. (Remember it is easier to add more salt than to remove it, so be conservative.) Bring to a boil and place a lid on the pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook for two hours or until the beans are done.

Add the chicken and the milk. Give it a good stir. This is where you have to make the adjustments for thick or thin. Add more chicken broth or milk. Check the seasonings. Add more salt, pepper, or even cayenne depending on your tastes. Let simmer for about 10 minutes and then serve.

Garnish with any or all toppings. Serve with warmed tortillas or Fritos or cornbread. Or all three. Live a little.

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