I was bragging about this recipe a couple of weeks ago, because it was all of that and more. As soon as the leaves begin to fall, that is the time I begin, what I call, ‘chili season’. I typically make a standard chili that was somewhat handed down from my Dad, tweaked by my wife, and then I kind of just made it my own by adding a bit more spice, veggies, what have you. There is something to be said about chili season and a warm, comforting bowl of chili on a cold day. It’s warming to the soul.
This past week however, I did not want to make the same old chili, as great as it is, but I wanted to make a chicken chili, using some of the standard seasonings, but I wanted the colors to change on this one as well. Red beans become white beans, beef became chicken. The result was something pretty darn amazing and I only say this because my wife ate it for three days, and wanted me to make some more later in the week to bring to a football game. Those rare cases typically justify a really killer dish, and this is one of them.
- 1 large yellow or white onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, cleaned and diced
- 1 celery rib, cleaned and diced
- 2 tomatillos, quartered
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and lining removed
- 1 can, 4.5 oz of diced green chilis
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- generous pinch of salt
- generous pinch of pepper
- 16 oz can of white beans (great northern or cannellini)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
- 2 quarts of chicken stock
- 1/2 cup of half and half
- 1 cup of monterey jack cheese
- Fresh and fried corn tortilla strips (optional)
Begin by warming your soup pot on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add the olive oil, and toss in the onion, carrot, celery, green chilies, and garlic. Give a good stir. During this time, add the jalapenos and tomatillos to a blender, along with the water. Pulse this down until you have a nice puree.
Head back to your pot and add in the jalapeno and tomatillo puree. Cook down a few more minutes. Add in your cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and give another mix. Add in the chicken stock. Mix well, then begin to ladle in batches, back to the blender, pulsing down into a smooth puree, or to a texture that you like. Return the blended soup back to the pot, add in the cubed chicken, half and half, cheese, and the beans. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cooking another 20 minutes or until you cannot stand it any longer.
Ladle into your soup bowls and stack with some of your tortilla strips. One word. Wow.