Friday, September 17, 2010

White Chili (with a little zest)

My mom always makes white chili at home and it looked pretty complicated with a lot of steps, but I decided that it would be my next dish to tackle. :) To my surprise, it was very easy and not that expensive. I took her recipe and tweaked it. This "tweaking" is what makes you feel more like a cook! Almost anyone can read a recipe and do exactly what it says, but you when start taking risks and trying new things, that is when you stop becoming a "preparer of food," but rather a developing chef! Here is my recipe...

*FYI- This recipe requires a lot of spices, that you may not have in your kitchen, if you are a beginning chef. I have found the best place to buy spices in the largest quantities is Aldis! :) You can get almost any spice for $1.09. The only spices I have ever needed that they did not have was Cilantro and Basil. Their containers are twice the size for less than half the money of Walmart! Spend $10 and bring 10 new spices into your kitchen. Bring a little spice in your life!

Great Northern Beans (2 cans)
Green Chiles (1 can)
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
2 green onions (chopped)
Grilled Chicken (cubed) Do you like a lot or a little chicken? 
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Oregano 
1 teaspoon Cilantro
1 cup Chicken Broth

First of all, you need to decide how much chicken you want in your chili? I put a fair amount of chicken in my mine. One thing I have purchased, which has never failed me, is a bag of frozen grilled chicken breast strips. Buy a bag for less than $7 at Walmart, and you will have chicken for many meals. It is so easy to throw in! I used the rest of my bag for this meal and I had previously used it in Mac and Cheese, Fried Rice, Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, and now chili! It goes a long way! You could even throw some in fajitas!

Anyway, dump your frozen chicken or grilled chicken breast in a skillet with the chopped onion. This will allow the frozen chicken to thaw and the onions to soften. Once the strips started to thaw, I took them out and chopped them into cubes. I then put them back in the skillet to cook with the onions. I added a tablespoon of vegetable oil and some Worcestershire Sauce. 

In the mean time, I opened the cans of beans and chiles and dumped them into the pot! I added the chicken broth and all the spices. Once the chicken and onions were softened, I added them to the pot. I then added the green onions last! I stirred it all up, and let it simmer (covered) on the stove for about 10-15 minutes, just to get all spices bonding together and making friendships. :) 

Then you are done! I added some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream and it was splendid. We also made some Jiffy Cornbread to eat along with the chili. I won't tell you how to make that, just read the box! Maybe one day I will make some homemade. :) Also, don't ever be afraid to add to the cornbread. I added a little shredded cheese to the mix! There is nothing quite like Southwestern White Chili with some cheesy cornbread on the side, or mixed in!

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