This recipe from The Pioneer Woman originally was made with dried beans, and from the photos it looks like they soak up a lot of broth, leaving you with mostly spicy beans and chicken, with a bit of juices. With memories of a most delicious, more soupy version from the Firehouse Brewing Co. in Rapid City dancing in my head, Kevin and I tweaked the recipe to come with something more brothy with a hint of lime. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese and cilantro, it had all the tastes of last summer.You could, if you wanted to save time, use leftover chicken and pre-made chicken broth. This way is more economical and you get to control the amount of salt and/or other preservatives if you make it yourself. This recipe really is adaptable, so click through to The Pioneer Woman and see all the possibilities!
White Chicken Chili, Firehouse Style
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Chicken and broth:
1 whole fryer chicken, cut up (or three cups of cooked chicken meat)
1 onion, peeled and sliced in 1/2
3 stalks celery
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans green chilies, chopped. (my chopped chilies turned out to be pureed, so I’d look carefully at the cans when buying)
3 (19 oz) cans of white kidney beans
4-5 cups chicken broth
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 ½ tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne (optional-we didn’t use it)
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp corn flour (masa) or cornmeal
½ cup frozen corn kernels
-Monterey Jack cheese
Put your chicken and all the “broth” ingredients together in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Fish out all the chicken and place on a plate. Strain out all the veggies and throw them away, then let the broth cool. You can actually do this step a day ahead, and then have the chicken and broth sitting in the fridge ready to create the chili when you come home. Pull all the chicken off the bones and shred with two forks, then set aside or put in the fridge for another day. If you cool off the broth, you’ll be able to scoop off the fat that congeals on the top and get rid of that as well.
To make the chili:
In a large pot, saute your onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until it’s soft and smells yummy. Toss in the jalapeno and continue to stir, then add in the cumin and paprika. Pour in the chilies, beans, and then chicken broth from when you cooked the chicken. I used only 4 cups, because I’m using canned beans, which absorb less liquid from the original recipe. Bring the chili to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium low, and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.
Stir in your cooked chicken and corn, then let it bubble and cook a bit more to heat through. In a separate dish, whisk the milk and corn flour/meal together and pour into the chili. Continue to cook over low heat, until the chili begins to thicken up. Salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, zest a lime right over top of the chili, then cut it in half and squeeze the juice in. If you need the chili to be hotter, add some cayenne pepper.
We served this topped with Pepper Jack cheese and chopped fresh cilantro, accompanied with thick slices of cornbread. It was truly delicious!