One of the best ways I know to get new recipes that can't miss is by sharing them with friends.
That was the case with this white chicken chili recipe that I received from a long-time friend who lives in Georgia. When I sent out an email that I was looking for a good recipe for white chicken chili, Maureen was quick to answer. This recipe, she said, was printed in a fundraising cookbook published by her housing subdivision. The recipe was in the second edition of Wild Timber of Sugar Hill, Ga.
But that's not all, Maureen told me. The recipe, submitted by Maureen's neighbor, Elaine Dougherty, was a blue ribbon award winner at the Wild Timber chili cook-off.
It sounded perfect to me and I couldn't wait to put it together, but never seemed to have the time, but after looking closely at the method, I thought it might do well as a slow-cooker recipe. I'm generally pretty busy, so slow-cooker recipes are right up my alley.
The first time I put this recipe together, it took about 20 minutes. By the second time, it went together much more quickly and I was able to cut my preparation time to 10 minutes.
I had not cooked with shredded chicken prior to this recipe and was concerned that it might end up too dry. My experience with cooking chicken in a slow-cooker is that the chicken, especially if cooking with white meat, tends to dry out considerably, no matter how much liquid stewing with it in the pot.
White Chicken Chili
1 to 2 Tbs. oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup flour
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained
2 cans white kidney beans, or other white beans, drained
3 cups chicken broth
3 to 4 chicken breasts, shredded
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Corn chips or tortilla chips
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Stir in jalapenos and garlic, saute one minute. Add flour, pepper, cumin and salt. Stir to combine well. Stir chicken broth and green chilies into onion mixture and heat to boiling, stirring constantly until thickened.
Remove the mixture from the heat and add shredded chicken and beans. Reheat to boiling and simmer 15 minutes.
Serve topped with cheese and corn or tortilla chips.
Serves 5 to 6 people. Recipe can be doubled.
Whole peeled and deveined shrimp
Bacon slices cut into thirds
Cut off the stem top of each jalapeno pepper. Slit one side of each pepper with a sharp knife and carefully scoop out the seeds. Stuff one shrimp inside each pepper. Wrap tightly with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Grill or bake in the oven until the bacon is crisp. Serve alone or with your favorite dipping sauces.
Shredding the chicken instead of dicing it into chunks was the answer. Like pulled pork or beef barbecue, the shredded chicken wasn't dry at all. The jalapenos gave it just the right amount of heat without being too spicy, although anyone with a more sensitive palate might consider using only one pepper instead of two. If you are really into heat, however, add as much as you like.
We prefer smaller beans than white kidney, also known as cannellini, so in my version of the recipe, I substituted great northern beans, which are smaller.
After getting all the ingredients together in a large soup pot, I poured it into my slow cooker, set it on low and left it until dinner time.
Serve in bowls and garnish with corn chips or tortilla chips and a little shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Another dilemma I had was what to do with the leftover jalapeno peppers. I don't often cook with them and the store where I purchased my ingredients didn't sell them separately, but rather in packages.
Once again, my friend Maureen came up with a solution. Make "rat toes," she said. It certainly didn't sound appetizing, but after hearing the recipe I knew I had to give it a try. With the leftover jalapeno peppers, I put together a few appetizers that were not only tasty, but also are definite keepers for my recipe box.