We had a weekend full of festive events, including a Christmas party, girl's afternoon at the Nutcracker and a neighborhood chili cook-off! I'd been working on a white chili recipe for awhile now, and this is the version I ended up taking to the competition. Though it didn't win (the bison chili that took top accolades was dee-lish), it is pretty darn good for a cold winter's night.
This is a simple recipe that doesn't require a lot of prep, and it can easily be made up the day before and reheated in a slow cooker. In fact, it's even better on day two, after the flavors have a chance to meld together. Using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store cuts down on prep time without sacrificing flavor. And keep reading - there might be beer involved, too!
I start by sautéing onion, garlic, chile pequin, and jalapeños in canola oil in a large stock pot. The recipe calls for two jalapeños, and I leave the seeds and veins in one for extra heat. Once the onions start to get translucent, I add two cans of diced green chiles (I buy the hot variety) along with cumin, coriander, ancho chile powder, and smoked paprika. Once the spices have toasted a bit, I add six cups of chicken stock and three cans of white beans - two of which I add whole, and one I mash up to add a nice thickness to the chili base.
Once the pot is simmering away, I sneak in a few cups of kale for some bonus nutritional value. Because I chop it pretty finely, it ends up cooking down and is barely noticable by picky eaters who would normally turn their noses up at greens (which includes both my kids and husband). Yes, it's a little devious, but sometimes mamas have to be sneaky!
Then it's time to add in the shredded rotisserie chicken, over which I squeeze the juice of two limes. The citrus adds such a great layer of flavor and a nice contrast to the spice of the chili.
Since I love to eat my chili with corn chips, it can't be too thin or it's not "scoopable!" So to thicken up the base, I make a slurry of milk and corn flour that I whisk together before adding to the pot. This really adds a nice texture to the chili and makes it the perfect consistency for tortilla and chip accompaniments.
Finally, I have to add my secret ingredient....BEER! (You didn't think a recipe of mine would be without alcohol, did you?!?) You can use any old lager you happen to have, but I'm partial to Colorado brews. And since the recipe only calls for about half a can, you'll just have to drink the rest while you finish up!
Click here to download a printable pdf of the complete recipe with ingredients and instructions. I'll be enjoying a bowl tonight (with a beer, natch!) Hope your Monday is marvelous!