Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Still Cold-More Soup Recipes!

Today I hosted a play date with some friends. We take turns hosting and the host always provides lunch. We are all pretty good cooks so we always end up with a great lunch wherever we go. I took over hosting this week for a friend who was sick. I had to come up with a menu on the fly. Since it was cold I decided to try Paula's White Bean Chicken Chili. I served it with cornbread, Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Pomegranate Seeds and Ina's Chocolate Cake. It was a great cold weather meal and really hit the spot.

I did not make my white chicken chili very spicy. You could adjust the spices according to your tastes. I had a few issues with the recipe and instructions but was able to adjust and correct. After following the recipe, my beans were still crunchy and I had to add a lot more liquid and cook longer. I just added water when the liquid cooked down too much and it was fine flavor wise. They did eventually soften. I have since learned (1) follow the recipe for soaking on your beans rather than the recipe (2) cook the chili with a lid on despite what the recipe says. The only other issue I have with the recipe is that it is not clear how much green chili to use. I used canned but mine were diced so I added what I thought was correct and it tasted fine. This is a great winter recipe.

I would have taken a picture, but the chili just was not photogenic!

White Bean Chicken Chili
Recipe as Adapted from the Lady and Son's Cookbook

1 pound dried navy beans
5 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup diced onion (I omitted because I forgot to get an onion!)
1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles (fresh or canned) (I used about 1/2 can diced)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 to 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (Omitted)
Pinch red pepper flakes (Omitted)
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

Rinse beans well, cover with cool water, and soak for 2 hours. (Follow recipe for soaking on beans.)Drain. Place beans in large pot with chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot with beans. Add chicken, cumin, oregano, pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

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