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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Does This Really Count as Chili ?

So we were having a chili cook-off at work, and for those of you who know me, you know I take these very, very seriously.

I have learned from entering previous cook-offs that when the crowd chooses the winner, you do have to cook to please the masses. In other words, the Minnesota palate does not always like the same flavor profile I do. Blazing hot chili doesn't always win the prize !

With that in mind, I decided to take a leap of faith (a bit of a pun since I work for a religious company), and try white chicken chili. I read probably a hundred different versions of this recipe before I finally determined how to approach this. And, I have to say, I was not happy with the outcome, at first. So, I added, and tasted, and added, and tasted.

What I finally had to tell myself, is that this isn't really chili. It is actually soup. Once I got out of my head that it wasn't spicy enough to be chili, it started taking on the qualities and complex flavors of a really good soup. So, keep that in mind if you decide to try this. I am quite pleased with the flavor, but don't expect it to be spicy, it will appeal to a less adventurous palate!

White Chicken (Not Quite Chili) Soup
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Fajita seasoning (or salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 small jalapenos, diced finely**more if you want this spicier
3 cloved, garlic minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 small cans diced green chilis
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cans white corn
1 can cream of chicken soup (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspooon coriander
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream

Season chicken breasts generously with fajita seasoning, and salt. Grill until cooked. Cool, cut into cubes and set aside.

In a large soup pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add chicken stock, chicken, and all the canned ingredients. Add spices and let simmer for 1-2 hours. Add additional spiced as needed. Add tequila and honey, salt and pepper about 1/2 hour before serving. Simmer. Just before you are ready to serve, stir in the sour cream.

Oh, and I did win the Chili Cook-off !

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