It's raining in Atlanta, and it has been for days and days. Some streets have flooded, and schools are closed in three counties. The whole weekend long we saw gray, gray skies and flashy thunderstorms at night. Everyone seems to be tired of the dismal weather but me. Perhaps it has something to do with the sun-soaked weeks I spent in the Mediterranean not too long ago, but I'm ready for gray, cold weather. It's time for steamy bowls of thick soup, butternut squash, coq au vin, and apple pies! This is my favorite time of year for cooking, and the cool rain is really getting me psyched about autumn!
Charlie and I spent the weekend snuggled up at home. We didn't do a whole lot of anything, which was really nice for a change. In fact, the only productive thing I did this weekend was cook, and I didn't even do a whole lot of that. Last night was particularly dreary so I decided to make some chili before settling in to watch Mad Men (love it!). Anyone who knows me well will be surprised by that last sentence because I don't usually cook things that involve beans. I've never really liked beans, with the exception of green beans, so I don't cook them. Ever. However, I happen to be married to a man who loves Mexican food, chili, and other stewy things involving legumes so I'm trying to branch out a little. I think kidney beans and black beans are the absolute worst (I hate the flavor and the texture) so I decided to make a white chili that had only great northern beans in it. My Mom sent me the recipe a week or so ago, and it also contains chicken, cayenne pepper, and mild chilies -- all things I'm a fan of. It's not a very heavy soup, and I don't think it will give hardcore chili lovers the fix they're looking for, but it does have a nice flavor. I even enjoyed the beans in spite of myself.
This is a really quick and easy weeknight meal. It doesn't take long to prepare and doesn't require much tending. Cornbread is a must to sop up some of the broth.
White Chili with Chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (4 oz) cans mild green chilies, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
4 (16 oz) cans Great Northern Beans
3 chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
2 cups grated monterey jack cheese
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot and saute 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Saute 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add undrained beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the chicken and cheese, stirring to melt the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream on top.
Consider yourself forewarned -- this makes a huge batch of chili! You may want to halve the recipe if you're only serving a few people. I made the whole recipe, and we had a ton left over so I'm going to freeze what's left. I love stocking my freezer with soups and stews for the winter months. When things get really gloomy it's nice to have homemade soup at a moment's notice.