I’m 20 years old! Crazy. Well, for my 20th birthday, my momma, sissy and I made white chicken chili. I’ve had this recipe saved on my laptop (along with hundreds of other recipes) for over a year now and am just now getting around to making it. We tweaked a couple things here and there just to use up ingredients we had in the fridge and took some shortcuts to make it easier. We were cooking for a crowd after all.
My birthday present this year was a new camera! I’m still learning how to use it, but already the difference between my Canon Rebel T3 and a regular digital camera is unbelievable. All the pictures are so much more clear and the food just pops off of the page (or screen). Like these tomatillos for example…
If you’ve ever had salsa verde, you’ve had tomatillos. Although they sound like they should be in the same family as the tomato, they’re actually related to a gooseberry. Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican and Latin American cuisine and in this dish, they are used as a thickener in the chili and to calm the heat of all of the peppers. We used 8 poblano peppers and 1 jalapeno pepper in the chili, which all gave off a certain warmth and mild heat. Poblano peppers are used in a lot of different Mexican dishes. The dried form of the poblano is the ancho chile, which is a main ingredient in mole sauces. We grilled them off to char the skin, then put them in a bowl with plastic wrap over them and let them steam. This step made it easier for us to peel the skin, and allowed them to cool off. Yum!
Along with the white chicken chili, we made jalapeno cheddar cornbread in a cast iron skillet with lots of butter. SO GOOD! That recipe will be in the next post. Check back here soon!
White Chicken Chili (adapted from Jim Fox on Food Network):
8 poblano peppers grilled, steamed, peeled and chopped
1 large onion
1 yellow bell pepper (then we used some left over red and green bell peppers we had in the fridge)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
Rotisserie chicken, hand pulled
12 tomatillos, washed, and paper-like skin removed
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 jalapeño pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans white beans
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (some for garnish)
lime slices, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado and plain greek yogurt for serving
Roast the poblano peppers on a grill or under the broiler turning often, until blackened and soft. Place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to cool (this will make peeling them easier). When cool; peel, seed and dice the poblano peppers.
Dice the onion and bell pepper. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or pot. Add onions, yellow bell pepper, poblano peppers, chopped garlic, and chili powder. Saute this mixture until the onions are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pulled chicken and warm through for 3 minutes to let the flavors marry.
Wash and stem the tomatillos then run them through a food processor or blender until they are pulverized, but still have some texture (you could dice them by hand, but this will leave the tomatillo skins floating around in your finished product). Add the tomatillos and the broth to the chicken and pepper mixture. After this is heated through (about 10 minutes), check the spiciness and, if necessary, add a finely chopped jalapeño pepper for more heat (we’re looking for a slow, sustained burn, not fire). Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the beans and cilantro, cook a final 5 minutes to heat thoroughly and serve with a garnish of cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, greek yogurt, sliced avocado and lime slice.