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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Chill out with Chicken Chili

Well, in honor of the cool wave that just swept through, tonight's menu is

"White" Chicken Chili

This is another sorta, kinda, not quite a recipe recipe. (Cos I refuse to measure amounts of spices.)

  • 1Lb boneless chicken breasts, cut in either 1/2' strips or in chunks
  • 1 can (or a coupla cups freshly cooked) navy beans
  • 1 can hominy
  • about a cup (more or less to your taste) of green chiles: the canned diced ones are just fine.
  • 1 cup chicken stock (your own or canned)
  • up to one tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • a couple of fresh, ripe (none of those sorta red cueballs sold at the grocery) tomatoes, diced. Or a (15oz?) can of diced tomatoes.
  • one medium onion, chopped
  • a coupla cloves of garlic, minced
  • ground red pepper (I'd use at least a teaspoonful—actually, I would use more :-)
  • ground cumin—minimum one tablespoonful. Best if ground fresh.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. When hot, add about a TBS of oil to coat the pan and then add the chicken strips/cubes. Cook until white, then add the onion, garlic, cumin and red pepper powder and continue cooking until the chicken is golden. Meanwhile, combine the chicken broth and corn starch, dice tomatoes, etc.

When the chicken's a golden brown, add the tomatoes, hominy, beans, green chiles and mixture of chicken stock and cornstarch. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, then simmer for at least 30 minutes. I prefer an hour or more, adding more chicken stock or water as needed.

Serve in bowls or on corn chips and topped with salsa or whatever works for you.

UPDATE: Lovely Daughter suggested mushrooms and bell peppers as an addition to this, and I don't see any reason why they would not work... it'd just taste different than I'd expect any kinda chili to taste. Maybe better than this "white" chili does. Gonna try that next time. If you try it that way before I do, drop me a line and let me know how ya liked it.

While you're at it, may I recommend this post from Blog and Mablog? For an upcoming Christ Church cookbook, Doug Wilson makes "...the culinary argument for God's existence, which Thomas Acquinas somehow overlooked."

"Think for a moment what God could have done with food. He could have designed a universe in which some sort of fuel was necessary, but where the (entirely superfluous) function of taste was missing. He could have provided us with abundant sources of nutrition, but which had the ethos of cold, shapeless oatmeal. No taste anywhere. Bleh.

"He could have given us food that had slight variations or degrees of refinement, like gasoline. We could have had super premium oatmeal, which was more gruel-like, and then premium, like cream of wheat, and then regular, which would be like oatmeal, with the texture and everything. But still, nothing that had taste. No brown sugar.

"What kind of God created taste? Not just the function of taste—because He could have done that and only provided one or two tastes—but the riot of tastes, the pandemonium of tastes, the bedlam of tastes that we actually have."

Interesting stuff. But then, folks who are familiar with Doug's work in Credenda Agenda won't be surprised... (Check out the latest Credenda issue: The Art of Pettiness for a taste..)