Monday, October 16, 2017

White Bean and Chicken Chili

I can't believe that I never made white bean chili before. This may be my favorite chili
yet! I made it in my instant pot because I cooked the beans from dry in it, but you can substitute 3 cans of beans, rinsed and drained, and cook it on the stove top. I used cannelini beans because that's what I had on my shelf, but any white bean would do. While the beans were cooking, I cooked the butternut squash. I cut it in half length wise, scooped out the seeds, and sprayed the cut sides with olive oil (I have a mister that I use instead of Pam for everything), placed them cut side up on a baking sheet in a cold oven, and baked at 375F for 45 minutes, which was perfect.  I will use the other half for something else, maybe as a filling for ravioli, or in a risotto later this week. I used homemade double strength chicken stock which is very flavorful, but you can add 1 Tbs of chicken bouillion paste or granules to improve the flavor of your chicken stock. This works great when I have to use commercial chicken stock - unless I use Swanson's brand. Swanson's brand is the tastiest and doesn't need any help in the flavor department. You can use any cut of chicken, though I think the flavorful thighs would be best. I used tenders because they were on sale AND marked down, and I couldn't resist them at the store today. You can use any flavor of Rotel that you like - I used the one with jalapenos because I like spicy food. You can add plain tomatoes, or Rotel without the heat, and you can add a little heat yourself via cayenne, pepper, or hot sauce. It's up to you.

And without further ado, here is the recipe.

WHITE BEAN AND CHICKEN CHILI

12 oz white beans, picked over, rinsed, cooked until tender without salt, and drained
Half a butternut squash, cubed and cooked
2 Tbs olive oil
1  onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp salt
4 cups flavorful chicken stock
1 can RoTel tomatoes
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken, cubed

Start by cooking the beans and the squash. While they are cooking, drink a glass of wine, and then peel and dice the onion and smash and mince the garlic (or you could put it through a garlic press).

In a soup pot (or your instant pot set on saute), saute the onion in the oil until translucent and the edges are just starting to turn toasty. Add the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Add in the oregano, cumin and salt, then the tomatoes and broth. Add in the beans and cook for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld a bit. Then, add in the chicken and squash cubes, and simmer until the chicken is done, about another 10 or 15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve.

Garnish with whatever you like: sour cream, some shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, avocado.... it's delicious without any additions. Or, you could serve it over rice or soft polenta, which I may do for dinner later this week.

This made a lot, about 10 cups of a very, very thick chili.

2 Smart points per cup, if you count all the veggie points; about .75 smart points if you don't.

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