Gluten Free Living – 2014
White Chicken Chili is a wonderful change of pace from regular chili recipes. Instead of beef or sausage, it uses chicken. Instead of red kidney beans, it uses white cannellini beans. Instead of tomatoes, it uses diced green chilies and mushrooms. And, instead of using chili powder it uses cumin, cilantro, oregano and cayenne pepper. The first time I made this recipe I didn’t stir in the sour cream or cheese. I just used it on top of the chili, but this time I decided to stir them both into the chili as well as using them for a garnish. It’s a tasty recipe as it is, but if you want to amp up the flavors you can easily increase the cayenne pepper and cumin, or even add more diced green chilies.
I got this recipe from our pastor’s wife when we were members of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Cedar Hill, Texas during the 2000s. I had very few soup recipes at the time and Bev and I got to talking and she said she had several really good ones she could email me. This was one of about five soup recipes that I collected from Bev. All of them were wonderful. It was several years before I actually made this recipe–for a chili cook-off at our home, but everyone loved it. Bev got the recipe from the DeSoto Independent School District Marching Band Classic Competition, judges menu. Apparently it was a recipe that got very high marks and Bev made it for her family frequently.
I made this a few weeks ago for a chili dinner at a friend’s home. I think one of the things I like about this recipe is it’s a little leaner and less calories than many chili recipes, but also the fact that you can play around with the ingredients and season it to fit your family’s needs. When I made it last time, I actually decreased the cayenne pepper a little because I was afraid it would be too spicy for some of the kids. But as a general rule I would use ALL the cayenne pepper and then some!
If you’re looking for a tasty Tex-Mex chili recipe, then give White Chicken Chili a try. It’s a great hot soup recipe to make for cool, fall and winter days. I made up my own chicken broth when I cooked the chicken, but you can even use rotisserie chicken and store bought chicken broth if you prefer. Texans seem to prefer their chili with cornbread, so I made up a batch of my Southern-Style Cornbread to serve with the chili. You can crumble it into your bowl, or not, depending on your personal preference. If you prefer a more old-fashioned cornbread, I recommend Molasses Cornbread, and if you’re trying to keep your cornbread gluten free (like this soup), then you can make up a batch of Gluten Free Honey Cornbread. All will work exceptionally well with this chili–especially if you enjoy a sweet cornbread.
White Chicken Chili is best served with cornbread!
I garnished the chili with sour cream and green onions. You can also use more cheese if you prefer.
This close up allows you to see the texture of White Chicken Chili. This recipe is gluten free and lower calories than some chili recipes.
Here’s what I did.
Place boneless chicken breasts in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Cover with lid.
Boil and cook about 15 minutes until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to cool slightly, then cut it in chunks. Reserve chicken stock for recipe.
Meanwhile, pour olive oil into a skillet. Add diced onions and saute until translucent – about 5 minutes.
Add cilantro, diced green chilies, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, and minced garlic.
Saute ingredients for 2 minutes.
Add 5 cups reserved chicken broth, 2 cans of UNDRAINED white cannellini beans, and drained mushrooms and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
Turn heat to low. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Add sour cream.
Stir ingredients to combine and heat through.
To serve, ladle chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream, green onions and cheese, if desired.
White Chicken Chili is a nice change of pace from regular chili recipes.
Here’s the recipe.
WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
(Recipe adapted from Bev Simmons, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX; source: DeSoto ISD Marching Band Class Competition Judges Menu)
- 2 lb. boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp. minced garlic from a jar
- 2 4 oz. cans of chopped, mild green chilies
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 2 cans Progresso white cannellini beans, undrained (white kidney beans)
- 2 cans chicken stock (or use reserved stock from cooking off chicken which equaled 5 cups)
- 4-oz. can mushrooms, drained
- 1 ¼ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese and Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- Green onions, chopped, for garnish
- Sour cream for garnish
- Cheddar and Monterey jack Cheese for garnish
- Place chicken in a heavy large pot.
- Add water to cover chicken.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Cook until just tender, about 15 minutes.
- Drain the chicken reserving the chicken stock.
- Cool chicken, then cut into cubes.
- Heat olive oil in same pot or Dutch oven.
- Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, then chilies, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and cayenne and sauté 2 minutes.
- Add beans, mushrooms and reserved chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add chicken.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat.
- Add sour cream and cheese.
- Heat through.
- Ladle chili into bowls.
- Top with additional cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
You can easily amp up the flavors of White Chicken Chili by adding more cumin, cayenne pepper or diced green chilies. Since we were serving this to kids, I toned down the flavors in my batch.
White Chicken Chili is a great main course for cool, fall or winter days.
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