Sunday, October 7, 2012

White Chicken Chili

This recipe comes from my uncle, Tim Curry, who lives in Tucson, Arizona.  A hearty southwestern dish, it is flavored with cinnamon, cumin and roasted green chilies.  Serve it with some tortillas and avocado or corn bread and you’ve got yourself the perfect, unique fall meal.  Thank you for the recipe, Tim.

8 Large chicken thighs (no skin, with bones to start)
2 T. olive oil
1 Large sweet yellow onion, diced
2-3 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Bag frozen premium white pearl onions
1 32-oz. can of chicken broth
2 16-oz. cans of white beans, rinsed and drained
1 t. Crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 t. Cumin
½ t. Cinnamon
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 Large baked potato (or 1 can white potatoes, drained), chopped
1 7-oz. Can roasted diced green chilies
Cilantro, shredded white cheddar, avocado, pico de gallo, for garnish and topping

*I couldn’t find frozen pearl onions, so I substituted regular onion.  I also added yellow corn and hominy in place of half of the white beans.  I garnished mine with cilantro and lime.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil.  Add the chicken thighs and cook over medium heat until they’re almost done.  Remove the chicken and allow it to cool.  Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, but don’t let them brown!  Add the pearl onions (or small white onions if you can’t find them frozen, because I never can now).  Let them cook with the other onions and garlic for several minutes.  Add the chicken broth and let it come to a simmer. 

While the broth is heating, debone and shred the chicken.  Discard any skin, fat or bones and add the chicken to the pot.  When the combination has come to a simmer, add the white beans. 

Season the chili with the red pepper flakes, cumin, cinnamon and vinegar.  Cover the pot and let the chili simmer about 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and add the diced green chilies.  Cook for another 20 minutes.  *If you add the green chilies too soon, their flavor will be lost, so don’t do it!

At this point, season the chili further with more crushed red pepper flakes (or Tepin peppers for a bigger kick, do not use jalapenos).  Serve the chili hot with cilantro, shredded white cheddar or avocado and Pico de Gallo.  This chili tastes great with bread sticks, tortillas or good, coarse bread.  

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