Saturday, December 6, 2014

White Chicken Chili

Well, I ended up cooking two turkeys for Thanksgiving and therefore have a bit of leftover turkey.  I finally got a cool, rainy day and have been on a soup-bender today.  I needed to use some of the turkey.

The first one I made is with a new recipe I ran across.  And it came out great!  She notes that she halved the cannellini beans and processed one-half to help thicken the soup.  You could certainly omit this step and just add the whole beans, but I really like the thickened result.  If you don't have or don't want to pull out a full-sized food processor, you could either smash the beans by hand or spend the best $10 you'll ever spend on a kitchen item and buy a Black & Decker mini-processor at Wal-Mart.'

Also, she calls for using paprika, but I substituted smoked paprika because, well, if it has smoked paprika (and/or cumin), I'm going to love it.  Even though it's a relatively small amount, it adds a great smoky flavor. 

Additionally, since I have a bit of extra cooked turkey on hand, I shredded some turkey breast in lieu of uncooked chicken.  I halved the recipe and then ended up adding 1 cup of shredded turkey (3/4 cup would have been plenty).  If you go with the cooked chicken/turkey route, simply add it before serving to simply warm through.  I also made a boatload of turkey stock so I used that in lieu of the chicken broth.

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI (6-8 servings)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 tsp finely minced garlic
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can diced, undrained green chiles
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp paprika (regular or smoked)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste, optional
S&P, to taste
1 (8 oz) Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese), cut into 12 slices
1 1/4 fresh corn or frozen corn, thawed
2 (15 oz) cans cennellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
shredded cheese (your choice: Jack, Italian, cheddar....whatever you like), optional
tortilla chips, for serving, optional

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add chicken (if using uncooked poultry) and diced onion and saute until chicken is no longer pink.  Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.  Add chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, cayenne pepper (if using) and season with S&P.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Add cream cheese and stir until nearly melted (it will bread down into little bits and will appear to look like separated cheese, but it will eventually melt).  Stir in corn, and 1/2 of the beans, then process the other 1/2 of the beans along with 1/4 cup broth from the soup in a food processor until pureed, add bean mixture to soup (you can skip the pureeing step and just add the beans directly to the soup, the soup just won't be quite as creamy.)  Simmer about 15 minutes longer.  Mix in fresh lime juice and serve with cheese of choice, chopped cilantro, and torilla chips for dipping, if desired.

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