Anytime there is a slight dip in temperature on the horizon (even if it’s 70) I can almost unwaveringly venture to guess what my dad will be making for dinner…and that’s chili. Chili is my dad’s love language, his soul food, his “come on over” call. He makes it every Halloween, for Sunday football games, and, as I watch leaves swirling around on the driveway, tossed about by gusts of cooler wind, my guess is that he’s probably making it tonight too.
While I adore my dad’s classic version of chili with ground meat and beans (which I will post one day!), I thought I would mix it up a little with this White Chicken Chili and, oh my sweet Lord, I’m so glad I did. I made a double batch and froze some to have on hand as an easy meal or 2 for when baby girl decides to grace us with her presence (whenever you’re ready, little one!) However, I could sense a hint of disappointment behind my husband’s eyes as I ladled up the last few servings for a freezer container. But I had to do it. My future, sleep-deprived, starving self’s desperate “thank-yous” to my well-rested, well-fed self are more convincing than any current cravings. (You know how there are stages of grief? I think there are stages of nesting too, and this weird squirreling away food phase is where I currently reside.)
So, do yourself (and family/friends) a solid by making a huge batch of this chili and a pan of piping hot cornbread. Invite some of your people over, even if it’s a Tuesday night. Chili is the perfect “come-as-you-are”, “let’s-not-take-life-so-seriously” food. It tastes like a big bowl of home to me.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 medium green chiles (such as poblanos), roasted and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- 1 lb ground chicken thighs
- 1 can corn (or a couple of ears, grilled), drained
- 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4 oz (half a block) cream cheese
- 1 cup chicken broth
- monterrey jack cheese
- crema mexicana (or sour cream)
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add and sauté onion for about 2 minutes until soft.
- Roast green chiles by rotating over an open flame until thoroughly charred. Chop and add to onions. Stir in garlic and cook about 3 more minutes.
- Add chicken and brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add corn, cannellini beans, spices (s & p, allspice, garam masala, fennel seeds), chicken broth and cream cheese. Give it a good stir to break up and incorporate the cream cheese.
- Bring chili to a boil and stir, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Serve hot with cheese, a big drizzle of crema mexicana (or sour cream) and cornbread!