We went camping a lot when I was a kid (or at least I felt like it was a lot). We also lived in a rather cold climate so chili of every variety was a prevalent feature in our diet. It was warm and comforting, easy to make and fed a lot of people without breaking the bank. My mom could make it in advance and reheat it easily on a camp stove or make it fresh when the weather turned cold and frost kissed every unprotected surface.
I have fond memories of fresh baked bread and a steaming bowl of chili. Of cold Autumn nights and crisp dinners by a camp fire. It was these memories which sprang into mind when LA had its first cold snap a week or so ago. The crunch of the leaves underfoot, the smell of Fall in the air, it made sense to make chili... and then it got hot again. However, I was not to be dissuaded, I texted my mother and got her trusty recipe for White Chicken Chili, made a few tweaks and of course, wanted to share it with you.
-MAMAS WHITE CHICKEN CHILI-
What you will need:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced into edible sized bits
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 qt chicken broth
2-3 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed (if you like more beans add the extra can)
2 (4oz) cans green chilies
1.5 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
*1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream or sour cream*
Drizzle the olive oil into your stock pot. Add onions and allow to sweat until they become 'glassy'. Add chicken and garlic until fragrant. Pour in chicken broth, beans, chilies, and seasonings, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer for no less than 30 minutes (I had mine cook down for 2 or 3 hours).
*Add in a little coconut cream or sour cream if desired to your bowl of chili
**You can also add butter for a little tang
The day I made this recipe I came home from cutting a clients hair, the smell of chili greeting me at the foot of our stairwell. I opened the door and my mouth instantly began to water. The savory flavors evoking memories from a time long past; flooding me with warmth...
If you have a go-to comforting fall dish be sure to share in the comments below!
P.s. I don't have a photo of a cozy bowl of chili because when I got home it was dark... thanks time change.