Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Home alone! White Chili

Who's in the Wilkins House tonight? Just me! My lovely husband is off on more important business tonight, while I am left to cook for myself. Which is a strange concept in itself, as I have become rather partial to cooking for others. In fact, this is probably my major reason for cooking (excluding the fact that food is just so tasty and delicious when cooked well!).  And often it's me who heads out of an evening.

So I decided to make the most of it and move away from my usual repertoire, and onto some comfort food. American comfort food - that resembles something moderately healthy!  A few years ago when I was stumped for some dinner ideas, and was hanging out with some friends from the US, they gave me one of their staple recipes- white chili.  I had never come across this before in Australia, but was assured it was just like chili con carne, the beef and red bean variety, but white.  With chicken and white beans. Sounded promising!

But I have to apologise, as I will inherently destroy the white chili concept by adding non-white veges.

White Chili (American comfort food)

Start by simmering a chicken breast in a pot of water.  The chicken I have is always frozen, but given that I usually defrost meat by placing it in warm water, I figured that slowly simmering it would still do the same job without making it tough.  Add enough water to cover the chicken, and gently bring the water to simmer, for about 10 minutes.

Dice up a whole onion, and add a quarter of the diced onion to the chicken in the water to give it some extra flavour.
Once the chicken is mostly cooked through, remove it from the stove, drain (but keen your newly made chicken stock) and start shredding! (this is my favourite part).
Using two forks, pull all the chicken apart so it is nice and shredded.
Look! We have a visitor! This is Karma, the neighbour's cat who has adopted our garden.  And living room. And us for that matter.  Very fluffy and very friendly.
Back to dinner... (don't worry I washed my hands) the same pot that you were using, throw in a splash of olive oil, and tiny piece of butter, let it melt and start bubbling.
Then throw in the rest of the diced onion, and smash up some garlic and throw in too- this will start to smell amazing.

Then throw in a can of cannellini beans.  Or any other white bean, but I think the flavour of these are best.  And give it a stir.
Now the recipe usually calls for a diced green capsicum... but I decided to use a carrot instead (basically as it was in my fridge, and the capsicum was in the supermarket down the road... but I promise it will still taste amazing!). Add to the bean and onion mix.
Now for the spices.  I love cumin with most things, add about 1tsp and some hot cayenne pepper.
Then add the shredded chicken into the pot.  At this stage it will be a little dry, so add about 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock that you just made.  You could also use vegetable or normal chicken stock.
And stir it around.
Some extra chili never goes astray. If you're feeling brave, add some jalapenos! Or any other type of chili that you would like to throw in.
Let this bubble away for a few minutes on low heat (about 10-15 minutes) with the lid on if you have one.
I think I added too much chili. But never fear, this is what the sour cream and cheese is used to fix! Throw in a good 2 tablespoons of sour cream, and about a cup of grated tasty cheese.
 Stir in and let in melt for another minute, add some salt and pepper to taste. Looking good just yet?
Heat up a tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds, place a big scoop on white chili on, wrap it up, and eat! Or you could serve it on some brown rice.  Enjoy!

White Chili recipe

1 chicken breast
1 litre water
1 large onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
400g can cannellini beans
1 large, or 2 small carrots
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Jalapeños (or fresh chili)
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup grated cheese
Salt, pepper, parsley to serve.

1. Place chicken in a pot and cover with water.  Add 1/4 of the diced onion.  Slowly bring this to boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken in cooked through.
2. Drain the chicken, reserve the liquids, but throw away the leftover onion.
3. Shred the chicken with two forks.
4. In the empty pot, heat olive oil and butter.  Add onion and garlic and saute for at least 2 minutes. Add cannelini beans.  Peel and dice carrot, and add to mix. Add spices and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Add shredded chicken to pot.  Add 1 cup of reserved juices that the chicken originally cooked in. Add jalapeños. Let this simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
6. Stir in sour cream and cheese, add salt and pepper.
7. Serve with tortillas or brown rice.

Serves 2 plus some for lunch the next day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vicki! What a great post! Sounds and smells yummy and written like a story pro! Looking forward to hearing about more adventures in the kitchen of the Wilkins'!