Sunday, December 23, 2007

(I'm Dreaming of a) White Christmas Chili

Just in time for Christmas, one of my personal favorite recipes from my little mother's kitchen - White (Bean) Christmas Chili. I usually double the recipe to make it last an extra meal and serve it with cheddar and homemade biscuits. It isn't a very spicy chili but it has an appropriate kick. I usually double the amount of red pepper for Michael's sake, but even then it's not too hot for John to handle.

This is what we served Kristi tonight. :)

White Christmas Chili
Makes 6 to 8 servings

4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves [OR you can half the chicken and add an extra can of beans]
5 cups of water
1 large onion, chopped and divided
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 celery ribs, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
3 (16 ounce) cans great Northern beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
3 (4.5 ounce) cans chopped green chiles
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

PLACE chicken, 5 cups water, and half of onion in a large dutch oven
over medium-high heat, and cook 15-18 minutes or until chicken is
tender. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven. Cut chicken
into bite-size pieces; set aside.

MELT butter in a skillet; add celery and remaining onion, and saute
until tender. Stir chicken, celery mixture, 2 cans of beans and next 6
ingredients into broth in dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat
to medium-low, and cook 1 hour, stirring frequently, until thickened.
Process remaining 1 can beans in a blender until smooth, stopping to
scrape down sides. Stir bean puree into chili.

REMOVE and discard bay leaf; stir in cilantro just before serving with
desired toppings.

And a special birthday shout-out to my little sister Rachel!

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