A hot pot of chili is just about the perfect Halloween meal: it gives your little trick-or-treaters something warm in their bellies before they head out into the evening chill, it is full of protein and fiber to balance out the enormous amount of sugar they'll be consuming, and scales up well for a crowd; it even freezes well if you have leftovers. Here's an unusual "white" version using chicken. It's great with cornbread or biscuits, and a salad.
White Chicken Chili (Adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2007)
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (two whole breasts, split)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
3 medium Anaheim chiles stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
1 medium jalapeno chile plus one small jalapeno chile, stem and seeds removed and set aside, flesh minced (NOTE: This makes for a super-spicy chili. If you like it milder, substitute green bell pepper for the chilies or sub in cubanelles or New Mexico chilies for the hotter peppers. If you like more heat, feel free to go up the Scoville scale)
2 onions, minced (about 2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3 limes)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (can omit if you hate cilantro)
4 scallions, sliced thin
How to make it:
1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned. Transfer chicken to a plate; remove and discard the skin
2. Add all of the chilies except the small jalapeno, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt to the Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are softened, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer half the chili mixture to a clean plate and set aside.
3. Stir in the broth, chicken and beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large plate. Continue to simmer the chili, uncovered, until it has thickened, 35 to 40 minutes.
4. When the chicken is col enough to handle, shred it into bite-sized pieces, discarding bones. Stir the shredded chicken, reserved chili mixture, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and small jalapeno into the chili. Thin with water if needed, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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