Monday, December 26, 2011

Champion White Chicken Chili

I once entered a chili cook-off.. and did not win. I think I make a pretty killer chili con carne, replete with homemade chili seasoning. Yet I did not take the gold. Who did? A notoriously good cook (at least in our circle of acquaintances) who made a white chicken chili. It really was delicious. Since Shawn's not a big fan of chili con carne, and since I need to up my game for the next chili cook-off, I've been experimenting with white chicken chili recipes. Can this man be overthrown? I don't know. He's good. But so is this recipe, and I named it with confidence.

In the course of my creative attempts, I used two ingredients I've never cooked with before: poblano peppers, and panela cheese. I wanted to suggest something other than cheddar, because we're working with white chili, and because this is a hosting site where we like to get a little fancy.
The taste of poblano peppers is not as that of bells or jalapenos, but still have a nice flavor, and pack a moderate amount of heat. Their walls are not as thick as a bell pepper's wall, so we'll saute them for less time.
Fresh, diced vine tomatoes are a perfect topping. They add great taste and color, and the fact that they're uncooked provides a nice contrast of temperature.
Panela is a fresh, white cheese. You might be tempted to compare it to mozzarella, but it's not as stringy and doesn't melt very easily. The taste is very similar, though panela's is slightly funkier, which I like.
Panela comes from Latin America and gets its name (basket cheese), because it takes on the impressions of the basket it's shaped in.

Next time you're expecting guests and need something hearty and warm with a lot of flavor, try this one on for size!
Champion White Chicken Chili
Serves 8

3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Large onion, chopped
2 Medium poblano peppers, chopped
6 Cups chicken broth
1 and a 1/2 Tablespoons cumin
2 Teaspoons coriander
2 Teaspoons chili powder
4 Chicken breasts, cooked, shredded, and salt & peppered to taste
1 Medium jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/2 lime
1 15-oz can Navy Beans, pureed (or mashed up with chicken broth if you don't want to dirty a food processor. This is your thickening agent.)
1 15-oz can Great Northern Beans, drained
1 15-oz can corn, drained
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2-3 Fresh vine tomatoes, diced, for serving
Blue corn tortilla chips, for serving (I go with blue because the color pops nicely.)
Panela cheese, finely shredded, for serving

In a large pot, saute garlic and onions together in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add poblano peppers and saute for another 3 minutes, or until they're soft. Add next five ingredients, stir, bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add jalapeno and squeeze in the juice of half a lime (or a whole one if you really like lime.) Add beans and bean puree, corn, and stir. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and taste, taste, taste, adding seasoning as desired. Serve with tomatoes, tortilla chips, and panela on the side.


  1. Your house must have smelled so good when you were making this! YUM!

  2. You make food such an art! Remember when I told you I found you intimidating because of your vast array of talents? :)

  3. lol I do remember that, and I still think it's pretty funny considering how amazing you are. I don't think you should be intimidated by ANYONE. It really is fun to try to be artsy with food. But it makes me a REALLY annoying person to be behind in line at a salad bar. I tend to slow down traffic. :)


  4. you want to live a quiet and happy please read surah al quran following:
    Al Quran terjemahan
    Contoh Surat
    Pidato Pendidikan
    Bacaan Surat
    Bacaan Surat yasin