I like chili, period. But white chili is a special treat with the tang of cilantro, yogurt and a slice of lime. It’s perfect for a wintertime crowd, especially as Super Bowl Sunday approaches.
Make a big ole pot with a skillet of cornbread, or hot pita bread, and you’ve got a tummy-warming delight.
- large mixing bowl
- 2 cereal-size bowls
- cutting board
- chopping knife
- measuring spoons
- wooden spoon
- large Dutch oven
- can opener
- 4 large chicken breasts, diced 1/2-inch
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cartons (32 ounces each) chicken broth
- 2 cans (7 ounces each) diced green chilies
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (black or white)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (reserve about 1 tablespoon for garnish)
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 lime in slices
- 2 green onions, sliced thinly for garnish
- (optional – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
LET’S GET STARTED
Prep your onions, celery and chicken. This is what I use the cereal bowls for – each ingredient will occupy 2 bowls. I start with the onions so I re-use the bowls without washing. The large bowl is to rinse your chicken before you slice it. I don’t care that so-called cooking experts insist you shouldn’t rinse chicken. Trust me, rinse your chicken.
Into your strainer/colander, pour the white beans and rinse under the faucet with cold water. This rinses off whatever that sticky juice is.
Heat Dutch oven on stove top, then drizzle olive oil in the pot and add onions, then garlic and garlic powder. Add about 1 cup of chicken broth and simmer onion mixture about 10 minutes. Then add the celery.
Next, add chilies and rest of broth. Add spices (not cilantro – it goes in last) and simmer 20 minutes.
Add diced chicken and rinsed beans. Stir carefully and cook uncovered. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until chicken is done. When it is done, it will be a solid white, not pink.
If you’re cooking this a day or two ahead of your party, cool it by placing the Dutch oven in the sink with cold water about halfway up the outside. You may need to change the water a couple of times to draw off the chili’s heat. When it’s cool, cover and put it in the refrigerator. No chicken dish should be left to cool off on its own.
When your dinner or party day arrives, bring the chili out of the cooler and warm it slowly on the stovetop. When it’s hot, chop your cilantro bunch (minus garnish) and stir the herb into your chili mixture.
After it’s cooked about 5 minutes, taste it and see if you want to adjust anything. If it tastes “flat,” that usually means you should add a little more salt, maybe 1/2 teaspoon.
When you’re satisfied with the taste, blend in yogurt for a little more “snap.” After the chili’s served into bowls, top with a dollop of yogurt sprinkled with cilantro and green onion slices, and squeeze a lime wedge over it all. Or serve your lime wedges in a small bowl beside the chili and let your guests decide for themselves. For real fire-lovers, be sure to have hot sauce handy.
SERVES 8-10. Warm cornbread or pita wedges complete the dish!
Come back to NewinNOLA.com for the “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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