Monday, October 31, 2011
Mrs. Poineau's White Chicken Chili
If you were on the Michigan Ski Team any time from, oh say 2006-2010, you know exactly what this chili is. You got inside quickly after every race to eat this chili. You thanked Mrs. Poineau endlessly for warming us up with this chili. You thanked Kelsey for having such an amazing mom. I'm not convinced that people didn't join the team just to eat this chili.
After I begged her endlessly, Kelsey and her mom sent me this recipe back in February of 2009. But then I didn't make it. I'm not sure what I was thinking - maybe I was afraid it wouldn't be as good as when her mom makes it - but I let it sit in my email inbox for that long. Every once in a while, I'd look it up and think how good it would be, but I'd never make it.
Then finally this weekend, when the temperature dropped (though we were fortunate to be spared of the snow that hit my home state of Massachusetts!!) it was officially chili and soup season. Now I don't like regular bean/beef chili, but after 3 years of skiing with Kelsey, white chicken chili is definitely one of my favorite soups. After raving about this soup to the Monkey Scientist for weeks, I had to actually make it for him and our friends.
Needless to say it was a huge hit. This soup is ridiculously cheesy, with a great kick and tons of flavor. It is incredibly easy to make - it comes together like magic. As Mrs. Poineau wrote in all caps - STIR OFTEN SO THE CHEESE DOESN'T BURN ON THE BOTTOM OF THE POT. She's serious, stir it every 5 min or so. Now, I have to apologize because I made this at the Monkey Scientist's apartment, so the photos are all from my iPhone. They aren't great, but I had to share this recipe with you ASAP - please don't wait as long as I did to make it!
White Chicken Chili
from the kitchen of the Poineau family
2 lbs chicken (I used half of a whole, 4-5 lb chicken)
48 oz jar northern beans (with juice) (note: I used 3 15-oz cans of white kidney beans)
2 tsp cumin
1 lb Monterrey Jack or Jalapenas (Pepper Jack) cheese, sliced thin or shredded (I finely diced it)
16 oz salsa or picante (I used Trader Joe's Chipotle and Garlic Salsa, but use your favorite)
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and white pepper to taste (I used smoked salt from TJ's)
(note: we also seasoned with chili powder and cayenne and added a can of diced fire roasted chilis from TJ's to make it spicier, but this wasn't in the original recipe and you can leave it out)
lightly salted tortilla chips
1. Boil chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Save 2 cups of the broth, drain the rest and remove the chicken. Shred and debone.
2. Add chicken and remaining ingredients into a pot, including the 2 cups of broth you boiled in the chicken in. Simmer 45 minutes to an hour, making sure the cheese is well melted. Stir often so that the cheese doesn't burn the bottom of the pan. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
3. Serve in individual bowls topped with slighly crumbled tortilla chips.