Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chicken and white bean chili

My poor mom...her cooking has taken a lot of ribbing over the years. It wasn't that she was incompetent in the kitchen, just that she sometimes had a knack for picking recipes that were born to be failures (mini franks simmered in grape jelly, for example), or making the same things over and over until we begged for mercy (like the 3-month chicken finger fest that occurred sometime during 1996).

Like a fine wine, however, her cooking has gotten much better with age. And the other night she made a yummy and very blog-worthy chicken chili recipe, which she had clipped from the pages of the local PA newspaper. Everyone at the table declared it "really good." I think the word "delicious" might have even been thrown around.

The nice thing about this chili is that you can adjust the seasonings to suit your heat tolerance; if you aren't into spicy foods or want to make it kid-friendly, then eliminate the cayenne. If you want to spice it up, you can throw in some diced jalapenos, add more cayenne and cumin, and use pepper jack cheese instead of regular Monterey Jack.

Here's the recipe: (adapted from the Harrisburg Patriot News)

Chicken and white bean chili

2 (20 oz) cans cannellini beans (sometimes known as white kidney beans)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken, diced into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 4 oz can green chiles, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 green onions, sliced
monterey jack cheese, shredded

Drain one can cannellini beans and set aside, but save the liquid.

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add chicken and onion and cook for 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in broth, green chiles, and spices. Simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in the drained beans and the can of undrained beans. Simmer 5 minutes (If you want, you can mash some beans to help thicken the chili.)**

Ladle into bowls, garnish with green onion and cheese

**Note: We also ended up adding some cornstarch to thicken the chili at the end.

Thanks, mom! I promise not to tease you about your cooking anymore...at least not for a while. :)


  1. This is almost exactly like the one we use, only we add whipping cream and sour cream (eliminating the need for cornstarch to thicken it up and increasing the fat and yum content). I also use 2 cans of chiles and up the spices significantly (which is easy when you add creamy stuff to it) even for my kids. Good choice, mom!!

  2. Yummy that looks so good... I better start cooking again or my kids will be talking about the sandwich decade! :)

  3. Yum - that recipe sounds so delicious! A good back-to-school dinner, I think!