Here's the problem...when is chili 'chili' and when is it soup? I have been wondering about this since yesterday when I made a chili (Martha Stewart inspired) but ended up with a soup. It was my fault, really. When I was done with the recipe, it just didn't feel right to me, so I added two more cups of stock and it became... soup. Was it just me or does REAL chili need to be a "bowl of red" with beef? Is everything else just a chunky soup? I did some research to find out. According to one definition, "chili is a thick, hearty soup with beans, meat and chile powder". Another said that "the addition of cumin" makes it chili. All of these ingredients are in my chili, errrr...soup? I finally realized that it's more of a personal thing, if you want to call it chili, great, and if you prefer to call it soup, well, that's okay too.
Chicken and White Bean Chili
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 1/2 t ground coriander
2 t chili powder ( I used New Mexico chile powder from The Spice Tin)
1 4 oz can mild diced green chiles
6 c chicken broth ( I like Swanson's if you don't have homemade)
3 T fine cornmeal
2 15.5 oz cans of white Navy beans, rinsed drained (any white bean will work)
Sour cream, cilantro sprigs, tortilla chips, and lime wedges for serving
Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large (6 quart) pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sear chicken in batches, turning once, until golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium; add onion and poblanos. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and chili powder, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in canned chiles. Add chicken back to pot along with broth and juices, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through and flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken to a plate and shred into bite-size pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal with 1 cup hot cooking liquid. Return to pot, along with beans, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in chicken until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Divide among bowls and top with sour cream, fresh cilantro sprigs, tortilla chips and lime. Serves 6.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
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