With our new location in Middlebury, Vt and the Middlebury Chili Festival coming up this Saturday, we felt inspired to make a new chili. I don’t eat any red meat, so much to my husband’s dismay, a beef chili was out of the question for me. We eat the Vegetarian Chili often, so we were looking for something new and came across a recipe for White Chicken Chili. This particular recipe caught my eye as it’s made with cream cheese and pureed beans to create a smooth and creamy texture. Also, because I am so spice-adverse, I thought the cream cheese might balance out the spice! My guess was right, the chili is perfect for my sensitive pallet, yet flavorful enough that my husband took a second helping. We found that the maple corn bread* was excellent on the side, yet if you were looking for something lighter (and not involving baking), tortilla chips would also be delicious.
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 lb chicken, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans (14.5 oz) of chicken broth – we used bouillon cubes to make our own
- 1 can (4 oz) green chilies
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (For a more spicy flavor you can double this, I am sensitive to spice and found just a small amount to be perfect for my pallet!)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 oz light cream cheese
- 1 ¼ cup frozen corn (or fresh if it’s in season!)
- 1 (15 oz) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, shredded Monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips
Here’s how you do it:
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and onions and sauté until chicken is no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add chicken broth (leave out ¼ cup for later use), green chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to just a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the beans. To make the chili a little extra smooth and creamy you can puree some of the beans. Simply place ¾ of a can of beans in a food processer with ¼ cup of chicken broth. Place the pureed beans and whole beans aside to add into the chili later.
- Once the chili has simmered for 15 minutes, add cream cheese and stir until nearly melted (it may look odd as it will split into tiny pieces, but keep stirring until the strips are dissolved, it will melt!)
- Stir in corn, whole beans and pureed beans. Simmer an additional 15 minutes.
- Mix in fresh lime juice and then serve and enjoy! Top with Monterey jack cheese and cilantro and pair with tortilla chips and/or corn bread.*
*If your in Middlebury for the Chili Festival on Saturday 3/11 be sure to stop by the store and sample some griddled maple corn bread!