The chill in the air is calling for a good wholesome hearty bowl of chili. Chili is just one of those meals that screams comfort. The richness of the protein and the creaminess from the beans and broth plus the warming spices added to the soup fills a house with comfort and belly with delicious food. Chili has always been a favorite of mine and it is a favorite of my boyfriends as well. That was actually the first meal I made for him. I figured if I was going to make a good impression on a man who knows his food and loves a wholesome meal it had to be a chili.
This recipe is a not so traditional chili. It is one my mom used to make us in fall growing up. I loved it! I looked forward to chili night all the time. There is something about chili that makes it so beyond delicious! I really like this white bean chicken chili because of the creaminess of the beans. White beans like greater northern beans and cannelini beans are much creamier than the tradition black bean and pinto bean used in a beef and tomato based chili. That's another thing about the white bean chicken chili no tomatoes. My brother growing up hated tomatoes (he was just like my grandfather). They would eat pizza and pasta but if they saw chunks of tomatoes forget about it. So this one was a hit in my house.
Chili makes for a great weekend dish or a family/friends get together on a Sunday. That is the way my family eats it. We make chili early in the morning filling the house with the delicious aroma of spices (which instantly gets everyones appetite going). Then after it has simmered and cooked turn it off and let it sit for hours. This is really the key to a great chili. Let the flavors just blend and come together. The longer they sit in the pot covered the better it will be. Trust me on this one!
Yields 4 servings
Time 60-70 minutes
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs - diced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - diced
2 cans Northern Great Beans - rinsed and drained
1 can Canellini Bean - rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow onion - finely diced
1/2 garlic clove - minced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt - adjust for taste
2 teaspoon black pepper - adjust for taste
2-3 cups chicken stock - low sodium
Garnish: Sour Cream, Fresh Jalapenos, Cilantro, and Lime
1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and spices. Let this saute for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. While the onions saute cut the chicken into small bite size chunks. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before adding it into the pot. Then add the chicken into the hot pan with spices and onions. Let this cook for 5-6 minutes.
3. Rinse and drain the beans. Add them to the pot and stir to make sure that everything is well combined. I recommend seasoning the dish again with salt and pepper. If you want a heartier flavor add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder. Remember to add the bay leaf as well.
4. Pour in the stock and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover the pan and let this cook for 15-20 minutes.
5. Once the chicken has cooked remove the top of the pan and bring the chili to a boil to thicken the it. You want to reduce the liquid. Let this boil for about 5-6 minutes. Then turn the heat off put the top back on and let the chili sit. I recommend letting it sit for 3-5 hours.
To serve warm the chili up, garnish with sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.