March 21, 2011

white chicken chili

I've never had this kind of chili before so it sounded very interesting when I saw it featured on United Tastes of America on the Cooking Channel the other day. The host Chef Jeffrey Saad went on a chili-tasting mission from Texas to California where he tasted this white chicken chili. Canned salsa verde with tomatillos and jalapenos added just the right level of heat to the chili. Instead of canned cooked beans, I soaked a pound of dried great northern beans the night before then simmered them over medium-low heat the next day until they were tender. I reserved and pureed about 2 cups of the cooked beans which I stirred into the chili. This made the consistency creamier and thicker eliminating the need for a roux or a cooked flour thickener.

For my recipe version...

3 pieces boneless chicken breast fillets, cooked and cubed
1 lb package dried great northern beans, soaked overnight then cooked
3/4 cup chopped white onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup or small can salsa verde
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water from the cooked beans
1 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup grated Mexican cheese

cilantro sprigs for garnish
Suggested toppings:
chopped cilantro for garnish
additional grated cheese
crispy yellow corn tortilla strips (pan fried in olive oil)
cooked white rice
extra salsa verde (optional)
sliced jalapenos (optional)

In a little olive oil, cook the garlic and onions until translucent. Add the chicken cubes, sprinkle with the cumin and salt then gently toss with the garlic and onions for a few minutes. Pour in the salsa verde followed by the chicken broth, cooked beans and chopped cilantro. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the bean puree and the cheese. Adjust seasonings and serve hot with the toppings.

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