Saturday, December 08, 2012

Chicken White Chili: Terrific 3 Ways

Chicken White Chili by atl10trader
Chicken White Chili, a photo by atl10trader on Flickr.
Lunch today was last night's dinner. Like any homemade soup, it tastes even better when the flavors rest overnight.  Muss & Turner's here in Atlanta actually lists their offerings on the menu under the header, "Yesterday's Soup".

Serve this as a game-day feast or a winter warming weeknight meal.  The key ingredient is actually a leftover item: a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store or your own.  Eat what you like one night and save about 1 and 1/2 cups of meat for the soup.  It is the best use of what's left from a roasted chicken other than using the bones to make chicken stock.  Adding great chicken sausage from a local butcher like Atlanta's Spotted Trotter is a bonus.  It adds even more layers of flavor.

The first time I came across this recipe it had a Texas twist to it and called for a chopped jalapeno pepper to add some kick.  I modified the recipe by substituting butter and milk items for light coconut milk (though almond milk could also work).  Additionally I finish the soup with slices of avocado and widges of lime and lime zest to give the dish a Thai flavor profile (a dash of Sriracha at the finish would be great).  There's alot of ways to make this goodness all your own.

So the 3 ways are: as rotisserie chicken, as Chicken White Chili for dinner, and then as leftovers for lunch.  Each time it gets better.  I'd love to hear how you vary things.

Chicken White Chili

1 medium onion, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped kale or cilantro
1 tbsp margarine or canola oil
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (15.5-ounce) cans Goya small white beans or cannellini beans (or consider 1 cup quinoa)
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles (use Hatch chiles if you can find them)
1 1/2 cups pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
3 links of chicken sausage, sliced or left whole
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup light coconut milk (Whole Foods or Trader Joes have it) or almond milk
2 tbsp cornstarch

Sliced avocado (slightly salted) and cilantro or spring onions for garnish before serving.

Combine onion, shallot, garlic, a pinch of salt, and canola oil in a large pot. Saute for several minutes until the onion starts to soften. Sprinkle cumin on top to release the flavor. Add beans, green chiles, chopped chicken, chicken sausage, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Once chili is heated through, bring back down to just above simmer, and stir in coconut milk and kale (if using cilantro - hold until serving as a garnish). Put cornstarch into a small bowl. Carefully ladle some liquid from the chili onto the cornstarch, and mix to form a thin paste. Pour the paste into the chili and allow several minutes to thicken slightly.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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