Saturday, January 29, 2011

Green and White Chicken Chili

As I begin to  write this post, I have to channel my thoughts in another direction, as my inspiration for this dish flew out the window last Sunday is no more.  I no longer can give this recipe the name that inspired me to write this post.   So let me back up and you will understand my dilemma.   Two weeks ago Paul hosted the Jets - Patriots game at our house.  I made pulled pork for the occasion.  A few hours before game time I thought to stupid!  I should have made something more "Jets-like" like a green pepper studded white chicken chili, you know, the Jets colors?  I like to be thematic.  Well,  it was too late to change the menu so I made the pulled pork anyway.  I bridged the gap to the football game by calling it pigskin sliders, with Jets green and white coleslaw, and bake-those-Bostons baked beans!  The beverage rule for Jets games is this: it must come from a green bottle.  Traditionally that would be beer.  It was blasphemous, but I also served Zinfandel, which goes nicely with pulled pork, and adheres to the green bottle rule.  The Jets won, so no harm was done.

As the week went on, I still had that chili in my head.  Maybe the fact that it's been the coldest, snowiest winter in God knows how long, or that the mountain of snow piled outside my kitchen window is now about 5 feet high, or maybe because the weatherman is talking about another midweek winter storm...maybe that's why I'm thinking of chili?  We were not hosting the Jets-Steelers game, but I decided that I would have to be prepared with a Green and White Jets Super Bowl chili, just in case they pulled off a win, which as we all know, they did not.

Mind you, I am not a football fan.  I did not slip into a deep depression like some people did; I've moved on.  So that idea of chili that was intended for the Super Bowl party will live on. Why?  Because it is a great winter meal that you will enjoy, and a break from traditional red chilies.

I spent the better part of a day searching for fresh poblano chiles. I can find them easily in the summer, but this time of year it is hit or miss.  Wholefoods is your best bet to find them around these parts.  If you want to know a little more about chili peppers,  this is an interesting site.    This time, I also made this chili with one of my favorite ingredients....COSTCO roasted chicken.  Yes, you heard it.  If you are new to this blog, you will learn that I think COSTCO chickens are a time-saving, all around efficient convenience as I use them in countless recipes.

This recipe is an adaptation of a  Cooks Illustrated, White Chicken Chili.  No, they don't use COSTCO chicken, the chicken is cooked in the chili. I have made it several times and is quite delicious.  It is just more time consuming and the flavor of chili does not suffer if you take my shortcut.  They have you brown the chicken, cook it in the sauce, wait for it to cool enough to handle and on and on..  Quite frankly, I think my version is just as good and takes half the time. Try it for yourself, then you decide.  This recipe is made with ease if you use your food processor.  If you don't have one, you'll need to do a lot of fine mincing, and will eventually have to use a blender or an immersion blender.

Green and White Chicken Chili
Click Here For Printable Recipe

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated January 1, 2007
Serves 8
  • 1  4 pound roasted chicken 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 poblano chiles
  • 3 cubanelle peppers (or anaheim chiles which I cannot find)
  • 3 medium jalepenos
  • 2 small cans fire roasted chiles
  • 2 medium onions
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground corriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 quart of chicken broth
  • 1 or 2 fresh limes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • grated cheddar cheese (for topping)
  • sour cream (for topping)
Remove chicken from the bones, chunk or shred.  Set aside.

Cut your poblanos, and cubanelles in half, remove and discard seeds and ribs.  Cut into chunks. Cut onions into chunks.  Put half of the peppers and onions in the food processor and pulse until the it is the consistancy of a chunky salsa.  Pour into a bowl and repeat with the rest of the peppers and onions.  Put food processor aside, you'll use it again.  No need to wash.  If you don't have a food processor, get chopping!
Take 2 of the jalapenos, cut in half, remove seeds and ribs and chop.
The other jalapeno can be chopped with the seeds and ribs intact.  That's were the heat is.  Reserve until later.  You will add as much as you want to the chili in its final stages depending upon how much heat you want. 

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in into a dutch oven and heat over medium high heat.  Add the 2 jalapenos (without the seeds) to the oil and saute for one minute. 
Add the onion-pepper mixture, garlic, corriander, cumin and salt to the dutch oven.  
Cover and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, making sure to stir often.
Add the 2 cans of chili peppers ( I like the fire roasted ones).  Stir, cover and continue to cook another 5 minutes, stirring often until vegetables are soft.  Remove from heat.
Take one rinsed can of beans and pour them into the food processor.
Add one cup of the chicken stock, and one cup of the sauteed pepper onion mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth.  (Do this with a blender or in a bowl with an immersion blender if you don't have a food processor).

Pour that mixture into the dutch oven. Return to medium heat.  Stir in the rest of the chicken broth and add the chicken.
Allow to heat through, about 5 minutes.  Add the remainder of the rinsed beans, the scallions and the reserved jalapeno with seeds for some heat. (If you don't like heat you can skip this step.  It's not very hot, I'd call it warm.)  Heat it through about 10-15 minutes.
Chop some fresh cilantro, and add it to the pot.
Taste, add salt and pepper if needed.  Squeeze in some fresh lime juice.
Ladle into a bowl and top with some grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
And as always promised, let Paul do the clean up!
 Sweetpea waits for something to fall on the floor!
This chili freezes well, if you don't plan on eating it all up!

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