Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Warm Your Heart

I love Spring. We're just finally coming out of Winter here in Wyoming and I couldn't be happier about it. My lilac bushes are sprouting leaves and buds like crazy and our front yard is a bountiful dandelion garden.

Along with the glorious 65-75 degree days filled with trips to the park and covering the sidewalk with chalk drawings, Spring also brings some cold, rainy, and downright dreary weather.

Whenever it rains I like to make soup. It's just how I roll. On Sundays when I'm menu planning, I'll actually check the forecast for which days are supposed to be rainy and then pester my husband about what kind of soup I should make.

I recently made a white chicken chili that we both devoured and thought I'd be nice and share. The recipe, that is. I'd totally share my pot of chili but it didn't last very long. And you'd have to make a trek all the way out to my little town.

This way is better, right?

In my cast-iron skillet I cooked up two chicken breasts that I had cubed along with some onion and spices. 

Here's the thing about chili, there's some standard spices that should be used but how much of each really depends on your preferences. I don't measure but rather just sprinkle garlic powder, dried cilantro, chili powder, paprika, cumin and a smidge of ground cayenne pepper in. Along with the usual salt and pepper. When the chicken has cooked through, it should smell like chili. If not, add a bit more seasoning.  

Then I add in a can of rotel tomatoes, a can of white navy beans (drained and rinsed), and a can of green chilis.

With the rotel tomatoes and green chilis, I don't drain off the liquid because it adds a ton of flavor and creates just the right amount of broth.

I like my chili thick, y'all.

If you prefer it more "soupy" then just add in 1 c. of chicken broth.

Just before serving, stir in cream cheese. Taste it and add more seasoning if needed. Heat through and serve away!

This is also really yummy when made into chili nachos or wrapped up in a tortilla with some lettuce - my favorite way to use up the leftovers. Or you could make a taco salad. Or really anything that keeps those warm cozy feelings going all day long while the rain is pouring down.

White Chicken Chili
Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 onion, chopped
About 1/2 tsp. of: cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
A couple dashes of ground cayenne pepper
4 oz. canned diced green chilis
1 can rotel tomatoes (with cilantro)
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz. cream cheese

In a large pan drizzle enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat on to medium. Add in the onion and chicken. Pour in the spices. Cook the chicken for 5-10 minutes, until each piece has cooked through.

Then pour in the chilis and rotel tomatoes along with the juice from the can. Add in the rinsed and drained beans. Heat through. Right before you're ready to serve, add in the cream cheese and heat through again. Taste and add more spices if needed. Serve immediately.

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