Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grubbin' With Fuzzy - White Chili

Having successfully reproduced, and dare I say "improved", my father's excellent chili, I decided to take it in a different direction: White. I've had white chili before, but haven't yet attempted to make a batch myself. The idea is pretty straightforward: Chili - Tomatoes - Beef + Chicken - Red Kidneys +White Kidneys = White Chili.

I decided last week that it was time to try it to use up an old package of boneless chicken thighs that I found in the back of the freezer from last February choice portions of deboned chicken that has been carefully aged in cold storage for 450 days. As always, the portions and ingredients can be played with.
  • 1-10 Fresh chilies of your choice, diced (I used Cubanelle to start and Serrano to finish)
  • 1-2 lbs Boneless chicken or pork
  • 4-5 cans of light colored beans
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 12 oz pale beer (ever the connoisseur, I only use the best: Miller High Life! It's the champaign of beers, you know!
  • a few handfuls crushed toritilla chips (This is primarily a thickening agent)
  • Cumin and Oregano, use your best judgement for amount
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
Assembly is pretty simple.
1) Brown the chicken.
2) Throw everything except the spices and half the chilies into a slow cooker, set it low, and walk away for a few hours.
3)Throw in the last of the chilies and the spices. walk away for one more hour.
4) Om nom nom nom...

Other thoughts
  • While cheddar goes best with Red Chili, your better of with Monterey or Pepper Jack on top of this stuff.
  • About chilies: If you throw them in towards the beginning, the most of the flavor and heat will cook right out. add them in towards the end (like the spices) and your chili will have a kick. Adjust according to the wussiness of you and your guests.
  • you can add the crushed tortilla chips closer to the end if you want to see how much you'll need to thicken, but don't add salt until after you are sure you added enough chips.
  • Instead of chips, you can used corn meal. But which of those two things are you more likely to have on hand?
  • Not mentioned in the list of ingredients above is a 6 oz can of Salsa Verde. I'm not sure if that really had an impact or not, so I'll leave that to you guys.