Chili is definitely in my top ten favorite winter dishes. I suppose really all year, but especially in winter it’s nice to cook up a hot batch of thick, delicious chili to enjoy at the end of a chilly day. (See what I did there?) There are also endless variations, from vegetarian chili, to Skyline chili like in southwest Ohio (go to Columbus or Cincinnati and have some if you don’t know what I’m talking about), chili over noodles, meatless chili, bean-less chili, sweet chili… you get the idea. There are chili cook-offs all over the nation, there is even an International Chili Society. That’s how serious some people take this stuff. Their webpage explaining the history of chili is pretty fascinating.
Now, hardcore chili con carne people who believe beans have no place in chili and pasture raised longhorn beef is the only meat good enough to earn the name, will not like my laissez faire approach to chili. I’ve been known to throw in all manner of vegetables, use various preparations of tomatoes besides juice, and use all kinds of types of meat. This version is a kind of white bean chicken chili, but it got a little Jen makeover, as most things coming through my kitchen do.
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can corn
1 can navy beans
1 can kidney beans
Dash chili powder
1/2 cup milk
Step 1: Spray the Crockpot and add the chicken breasts. Put on low.
Step 2: In a blender or food processor, liquefy the can of kidney beans (or any other type really. This just adds a thicker, creamier texture) after you drain the can. Add water or some milk if you need to.
Step 3: Add the liquid beans plus all the other cans, milk, and any spices you want. (Garlic, onion, hot sauce, etc)
Step 4: Cook on high 4 hours or low 4-6. Take the chicken breasts out and shred them with two forks. Put back into the chili, stir and let sit another hour or eat immediately.
Top with whatever you like. I used plain Greek yogurt and shredded cheese, but salsa, cornbread, or avocado would also be delicious.
This chili is such a perfect combination of creamy and light. It has just a hint of spice from the diced tomatoes with chilies, but you could kick it up a notch easily by adding jalapenos or other peppers, or sprinkling on some hot sauce. You could also use two cans white beans, kidney, black beans, whatever you have in the pantry. I’d really recommend not skipping the pureeing though, it totally adds that little ‘something’. I had leftovers for three days, and was not upset about it!
What’s your favorite kind of chili?
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