Wednesday, April 8, 2020

White Bean and Chicken Chili

For the last few weeks I’ve been all about the comfort food. Like many of you, I’ve been hunkering down in my kitchen, testing recipes and trying to figure out what the “new normal” is going to look like. So far it looks like me eating a lot of bread and yummy soups, pasta, and chili. I’m into it. These are the days to reach for whatever brings you comfort, while also cooking healthy, nutritious meals without having to run to the grocery store every few days. I’m trying to hold out for at least two weeks and so far, so good. Having a well-stocked (but not hoarding!) pantry of canned beans, chicken broth, and other essentials, means dinner can come together easily, and taste mighty delicious. 

I love making big batches of chili, as the leftovers can be turned into so many exciting possibilities. This way, you can cook once and get creative throughout the week, with adding the chili to nachos (nacho time is the best time!), and highly-snackable tostadas. I adore chili in all shapes and sizes, but this white bean and chicken version may be my favourite yet. While it’s teeming with all kinds of great spices and vegetables, I’m pretty certain that the punch of flavour from the Tabasco Green Sauce also added a little magic. Made from mild green jalapeno peppers mixed with vinegar and salt, the Green Sauce is the easiest way to add fresh tangy flavour to oh so many meals. While it’s awesome in chili, on nachos and tostadas, it can be used in anything from seafood to vegetables, salad dressings and fruit. A little of the Green Sauce on melon with salt is heavenly!

The beauty of chili lies in its versatility. I had ground chicken in the freezer and white beans in the pantry, but this chili would be equally delicious with whatever you have on hand so you don’t have to make an extra trip to the grocery store. No one wants to do that right now. So, swap in another protein for the chicken, use other beans, lentils or chickpeas instead of the white beans. I needed to clean out my fridge, so I used some kale and sweet potato, but any vegetables you like would be delicious in the chili. Of course, a bowl of chili needs toppings, and this is where you can have a little fun. I love the freshness of lime juice squeezed on top, and the creamy goodness of sour cream and white cheddar. If you have an avocado, slide that in there too. Tortilla chips make for good chili scooping, so I always have lots of those on hand.

White Bean Chicken Chili with Tabasco Green Sauce

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced 
1 lb ground chicken or turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (1/2-inch pieces)
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
2 cans (19 oz/540 mL) white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp Tabasco Green Sauce
3 cups chopped kale, tough stems removed
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, stems okay
juice of 1 lime
Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated white cheddar, lime wedges, sliced avocado, corn tortilla chips, more hot sauce

1. In a Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion has softened, about 4-5 minutes. 
2. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned on the outside and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. 
3. Toss in the garlic, spices, salt, and sugar. Cook for a few minutes just to toast the spices. Add the sweet potatoes, red pepper, and corn. Stir to combine. Add the beans, chicken broth, and Tabasco Green Sauce. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. 
4. Stir in the kale and cilantro. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust seasonings with more salt, pepper, and hot sauce. 
5. Divide into bowls. Garnish with toppings and additional Tabasco Green Sauce. Makes 6 servings. 

Note: Can use ground turkey or chorizo sauce instead of the ground chicken. Can use cooked lentils, black beans, kidney beans or chickpeas instead of the white beans. Can omit the meat and use additional vegetables to keep it vegetarian. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Omit the dairy, if you’re looking for a vegan option.  To make Nachos.... Arrange some corn tortilla chips onto a baking sheet. Spoon some of the cold chili over the chips. Scatter with cheddar cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the chili is hot. Garnish with sour cream, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, salsa, etc.

To Make Tostadas…

Tostadas are super simple! I basically just spread a little cold chili on top of a corn tortilla, top with cheese and bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, pickled red onions, and dig in. More info on how to make tostadas here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh this chili looks amazing! I have *almost* everything to make it except I'll have to swap in ground beef and maybe chickpeas. Do you think that would be ok? Also I've never heard of Tabasco Green Sauce! Adding it to our grocery list!


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