Tuesday, January 22, 2013

White Chicken Chili

I have a problem... I seem to have forgotten how to use a plate and fork. Yes, this time of year I find myself curling up with dinner in a bowl nearly every night. No, I'm not a senior citizen, but I do love soups and stews and it is DAMN cold outside. This is Chicago for God's sake... the high today was 10 degrees. It was the first day I could feel my contact lenses on my eye balls. Down coats (including for the tiny dog) and Uggs are in full force. So yeah, I like warm stuff in a bowl this time of year.

If there is a bright spot in this wintry tundra, its cozy family favorites. I already shared my Chicken and Dumpling Soup and I must have had my lovely Stepmother on the brain, because I recently made her famous White Chicken Chili too.

It's a family classic for sure, but it was originally adapted from the Romertopf Clay Cooker Cookbook, specifically the tattered and torn version of it from the 1970s that lives in my parents' bottom cabinet. A classic. I don't actually have a clay cooker, but a heavy earthenware casserole does the job just fine.

It's a simple prep, mostly combining and layering the ingredients before baking. It takes a bit to cook, but nearly all of the time is hands off. Use this time to browse vacation deals and plot your escape from the howling wind.

Those little cans of green chilis are a great pantry staple. I don't know about you guys, but this time of year my grocery store always runs out on Sunday afternoons, so I stock up when I can.

Who's ready to dig in? Let it warm you from within and think about people you love who've shared recipes and meals with great affection. Oh and call your brothers to brag about eating their favorite meal. Suckers.

White Chicken Chili
3lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons flour
8 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
2 ribs celery chopped
2 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans green chilis
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chicken in flour, chili powder, salt, cumin and red pepper flake. Place onion, celery and garlic in the bottom of an large casserole. Layer chicken on top of celery and onion mixture. Top with green chilis and pour chicken stock over the mixture.

Cover and bake, stirring once or twice, until chicken is cooked through and lightly browned; about 1 hour. Remove from oven and skim any fat from the top of the chicken. Stir in sour cream and top with cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Serve over brown rice. Dish will be VERY hot when removed from the oven, so take care.


  1. Love the brothers comment...mostly because it's so true.

  2. Nice work, Carey. The chili sounds delicious and your photography is awesome.


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