Saturday, April 30, 2011
White Bean Chicken Chili
If you google "white bean chicken chili" you will find so many recipes. They all sound delicious, but I dare you to find a chicken chili recipe easier than this one. With only 4 ingredients in the chili itself, you are sure to always have what you need on hand.
When my friend Josie first posted this on her blog back in 2009, everyone we knew went nuts over it. All I ever heard was how great it was, how simple it was, how delicious it was. But something did not draw me in. Chicken chili? I don't know. I had a beef chili recipe that I liked very much. My husband is not a big chicken fan so I wasn't in a hurry to try it. I actually never even looked at the recipe.
Then for Christmas I bought my mother in law a crock pot and I wanted to give her a collection of simple recipes to go with it. I pulled this one out because I knew everyone said it was easy. As I wrote it down for her, I was struck by how simple it was and how all of the ingredients were things I liked. I made it the next week.
The first time I made it, I halved the recipe. In the event we didn't love it, I didn't want a bunch of leftovers hanging around. Then we ate it. And I was so mad at myself! WHY had I waited so long to make this! WHY didn't I make more! Even my daughter loved it. Nico and I ate dinner and the next day we pretty much fought over who got to have the leftovers for lunch.
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. Eat it as a stand alone or top it with your favorite things. I like sour cream, chopped tomato, avocado, and tortilla chips. (This week I had some left over guacamole, so I used that instead of diced avocado.) Its versatile, too. Don't have white beans? Use black or red beans. Want to add some corn? Go ahead! Change the cheese up, if you like!
With four cans of beans in the recipe, it does make a lot. I've made this for casual suppers with friends on game night and I've made it for play dates. But I usually keep what I need on hand for those crazy days when our errands have us out of the house all day. Throw this in the crock pot before we leave and I don't have to fuss with dinner at the end of a long day.
White Bean Chicken Chili
recipe courtesy of Pink Parsley Catering
4 cans cannelini beans (white beans), drained and rinsed
8 ounces pepperjack cheese, cut into 2 inch cubes
2 cups salsa
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts*
Combine the beans, cheese and salsa in the crock pot. Nestle the chicken breasts into the bean mixture, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred or chop. Return to the chili mixture and stir to combine. Serve with desired garnishes.
*I've used frozen chicken in a pinch. Cook on high for an hour and half to two hours, then turn down to low for the remainder of the time. While its on high, be sure to stir the chili every so half hour so it doesn't burn onto the sides of the crockpot.