Having completely wiped myself out cleaning the flat and lumping furniture about, I felt in need of some yummy comfort food. Inspired by a recent visit to my friend Gloria’s house while we were in Washington D.C., I had a look for white chicken chili recipes and found one to adapt. As someone who is not fond of tomato-based sauces or tomatoey food generally (other than fresh tomatoes- weird I know), white chicken chili is a fantastic find, being ‘white’ as opposed to ‘red’ I suppose due to the refreshing absence of the ubiquitous can of chopped tomatoes.
The recipe I based mine on was Cha-Cha’s white chicken chili from allrecipes.com.
Meg and Cha Cha’s white chicken chili
for the chicken:
750g raw chicken fillets- I used a mixture of breast and thigh fillets
1tbsp ground cumin
1tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp celery salt (I actually just sprinkled all of these liberally, so the above is just a rough guess)
1tbsp mild olive oil
for the chili mixture:
1tbsp mild olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-hot chili pepper, finely diced (this was hot enough for me, but add more if you want even clearer sinuses)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon mild paprika (for prettiness)
750ml chicken stock
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
handful of coriander (cilantro, if you’re in the US of A)
shredded cheddar cheese, as much as you want really
1 small ripe avocado, diced
NB the chili makes much more than 2 servings, but the above finishing touches would be for 2 people
Put the tablespoon of olive oil in an ovenproof dish with a lid (or a foil-covered one) and turn the chicken fillets in it, then sprinkle on the spices. Roast in the oven at 180c (350F) until cooked through- half an hour or a bit longer maybe? Let cool, then shred into chunks. It tastes nicer and stays more juicy when shredded rather than diced, I think.
Meanwhile, saute the onion very gently in the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until it’s translucent. Then add in the garlic, chili pepper, cumin, cayenne and paprika, and let it cook away for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken and the cannellini beans and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
Serve over rice, scattering the coriander, cheese and avocado on the top. Yum yum yum. Makes absolutely loads, and of course scale up or down as needed. This fed us dinner one night, and was then Mark’s dinner for a whole week. And also, if you’ve already got leftover cooked chicken from a roast or whatever, just use that instead of roasting anything.
And then of course I needed pudding, absolutely a non-negotiable element of any comforting for me, and while I wanted to make something tasty I couldn’t be bothered to be a real domestic goddess and make something from scratch despite all of Nigella’s urgings, so I mixed up a Betty Crocker marble cake from a packet and slathered it in Betty Crocker vanilla icing from a tub. Which I secretly love, although not as much as rainbow chip icing which is sadly (probably fortunately) not available in our local supermarket.
Oh yes, and decorated with maraschino cherries left over from my recent brownie-making adventure. A moist, squidgy slice of sugary deliciousness.