Recently, I was challenged to a chili “throwdown” of sorts. I, being the person that cannot turn down a culinary challenge, graciously accepted. Then it dawned on me that I do have a good chili recipe, but I wouldn’t consider it competition worthy. I then panicked. What if I go down in flames??? My goal is to avoid defeat at all costs, so I decided to give an alternative to chili con carne a whirl in order to prepare for this chili throw down that is to come. I went with a white bean chicken chili as an experiment. I adapted a recipe by Paula Deen that came highly recommended. Basically,
- Soak one pound of dried navy beans in water over night (after picking them over for stones)
- The next day when you are ready to eat, drain the beans and put them in a large pot for making soup.
- Cover them with 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- In the meantime, dice up 1 bell pepper, 3 jalapenos (no seeds), 2 small onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Cook all of these veggies in a skillet with half a stick of butter until they sweat out some flavor, 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked veggies and the raw chicken to the boiling bean mixture. Stir.
- Add 1 tbsp of kosher salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tbsp of cumin, 1tbsp of dried oregano, and a few generous dashes of red pepper flake to the pot. Stir again.
- Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 90 minutes.
I topped mine with a touch of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a dash of cayenne pepper. At first I was underwhelmed, but once the sour cream and cheese got mixed in and thickened everything, it all began to taste better with each spoonful. I’ll definitely cook this again, but still on the fence as to whether this will be my competition chili. More chili recipes to come I guess…