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Monday, March 17, 2014

First Place Beer and Third Place Chili

I have to say, I am not entirely sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I am the reigning champion (two years running) for the Freshwater Theatre Homebrew competition. That being said, there really wasn't much of a competition in homebrew this year. Not that I didn't think I could win anyway, because my bourbon barrel porter rocked, but...

Chili is a different matter. I take pride in my chili, I make some really good chili. And, I compromised to try to win the contest by guessed it, the dreaded white chicken chili. Now, this was one stellar pot of soup (note, I hesitate to call it chili, because, I don't think it is). I was going after what I shall heretofore after call Chicken Tamale Soup, because that was the flavor I was going for. It was complex. It was flavorful, didn't win. I am still disappointed in myself that I didn't just make the chili we like to eat (which is super spicy, heavy on the meat, and really tasty), and serve that. Next's going to be "F**K you Minnesota, this is what real chili tastes like ! "

In the meantime, here is my second third place chili, or, for the ages, Chicken Tamale Soup.

Chicken Tamale Soup 
For the chicken:
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Mix spices together and rub chicken breasts liberally with spice blend. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through. Remove from grill, let cool and dice into small pieces.

For the chili:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cans Great Northern beans
2 cans white hominy
2 small cans diced mild green chilis
1 can cream of chicken soup (optional)
1/4 cup cumin
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup masa
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 cup sour cream
Corn chips and cheese for garnish
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos, and saute until tender. Stir in stock, and canned items. Bring to a boil, then add spices and chicken. Simmer for 60 minutes, then stir in lemon juice and masa . Simmer for approximately 20 minutes more, then taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Just before serving, stir in sour cream. Scoop soup into bowls, and serve with chips and cheese.