Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alex's White Chili - For Daniel

Several years ago, I was a judge in a chili competition. This was pretty awesome for me, since I love chili to no ends. One of the entries in the non-traditional category was a white chili, made by a guy named Alex. When I first saw it, I admit I thought I would NOT like this chili (as I lean more toward traditional takes on chili), but after tasting it I thought it was fabulous. So I asked Alex for his recipe. As often happens when you ask someone for a recipe that the person makes generally by feel or memory, the recipe you get mostly is a list of ingredients and you have to extrapolate what is meant by this list.

So I extrapolated (and made some "changes" where a required ingredient wasn't really clear or where I thought another ingredient might be tasty too), when it came time for our Second Annual Chili Day (in which we also had our housewarming party, since we moved to a bigger place to accommodate the kid that's on its way). It was really interesting, since the chili offerings were a traditional Texas chili and this white chili. People seemed to like them equally, and I got requests for the recipe for the white chili. Especially from Daniel, who seemed to REALLY like it. So, Daniel, here's the recipe! Hope you all enjoy!

2 pounds chicken (I used thighs for extra flavor, but breasts would be fine too, and I believe are what Alex actually used)
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon each: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds dry white beans (any kind, or a mixture, is fine), cooked to package directions
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 large white onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium can (11 ounces?) chopped jalepenos or seranos, with liquid
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Chop up chicken into really small pieces (bite sized or smaller). Put seasonings in first section on top of chicken pieces, then mash all together with your hands to coat evenly. Heat a large skillet with olive oil and fry the chicken pieces until cooked through. Put the chicken in a large pot, dutch oven, or crock pot. Add to it your broth, cooked beans, spices, onions, garlic and the full can of chilis with their liquid. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the liquid reduces and you have a thick chili. You may need to skim some fat as you go (I did). Top with grated Monterrey jack cheese. Serves 10-20.

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