Tuesday, January 24, 2012

White Chicken Chili

This is the other soup recipe I promised a couple weeks ago.  I have made it twice now, and you can see the variations in the recipe.  It is definitely going to stay in the rotation for winters to come. 
Mini grilled cheese on the side - delicious!
Tip to new cooks:  If you're looking to move beyond following a recipe to a tee, try making a soup.  They are so forgiving, and all pretty much follow the same methods.  Feel free to add/omit ingredients as you see fit.  Think about what flavors you like together and put them in a soup.


On to the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 smallish bell pepper, chopped (I would use yellow, orange, or green.)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (Variation: Use jarred pickled jalapenos or a combination of fresh and jarred.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1-2 cups chicken broth, depending on how thin/thick you like your soup (Variation: Use water and chicken bouillon cubes.)

1-2 cups water, again depending on how thin/thick you like your soup (Know that you'll be adding barley at the end, which will thicken the soup.)
3 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed (any combination of Navy, Cannellini, Great Northern)
1 can golden hominy (Variation: use 2 cups frozen corn. Note that the hominy is mushier, but in a good way.)
2 cups leftover roasted chicken, shredded*
1/4 cup barley


Steps:
1. Saute onions in oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add in bell pepper, celery, and jalapeno pepper and cook about 5 minutes.
3. Add in garlic and spices. Cook, stirring regularly about 5 more minutes.
4. Add in chicken broth, water, beans, and hominy. Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer.
5. Add in chicken and barely and let simmer for 25 minutes. The soup is ready now, but if as with most soups, you can let it sit on the stove for longer. The flavors will continue to meld, but it will get thicker.


Toppings: When serving, top with a squeeze of lime juice. Other toppings could be a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, or chopped red onion.


*Chicken: You can use just about any form of leftover chicken you have, but if you want to make it fresh for this recipe, I would do one of the following:

1. Follow this recipe for bone-in roasted chicken. (Scroll down to Curried Chicken Salad.) Cook two breasts, three legs, or four thighs, or a combination thereof. Before coating the outside with oil, you could sprinkle on a healthy amount of Penzey's fajita seasoning or a combination of the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne mixture you use in the soup.)

2. Cook 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts following this method:
Lay out chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Sprinkle on a healthy amount of Penzey's fajita seasoning or a combination of the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne mixture you use in the soup. Coat with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.