I've always been a little intrigued with White Chicken Chili, but never one to mess with a good thing, I never had the nerve to try it...or to try making it. But recently, Hubs (who'd previously tasted Chili Blanc) made a dinner request, so I looked up a few recipes and called my mom to see if she'd made white chicken chili. Let's face it, my mom is a fabulous cook, so I knew if she'd made something, either the recipe was amazing, or she'd worked out the kinks to make it amazing! Mom, like me, had never attempted chili that wasn't her signature, and prize winning, tomato-based chili, so I went back to the cookbooks and stumbled upon Rachael Ray's White Lightning Chili, with either a ground turkey or Chunky Chicken version. I've never made a Rachael Ray recipe I didn't love, so despite finding a few other similar versions, I tried hers the other night.... It was fabulous, filling, and wonderfully Fall-ish!! Perfect combination! Below is the recipe, as printed in Rachael Ray's original 30-Minute Meals book, but with a few little tweaks to make the chili to my liking...
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds diced boneless, skinnless chicken breasts
1 large yellow-skinned Spanish onion, chopped [I used 1 medium and 1 small]
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced [I added a few more tablespoons of sliced jalapenos for extra spice]
2 cloves garlic, minced [a garlic lover, I used 3 large cloves]
2 tablespoons ground cumin
a few shakes cayenne pepper sauce (Tobasco, Texas Pete, etc) [I also added 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper]
1 palmful chopped fresh cilantro
3 1/2 cups (28 oz) chicken stock [I'd start with half of this and add as necessary to the thickness you prefer]
1 can [I used 2 cans to make the chili more stew-like] Great Northern/white kidney beans, drained
coarse salt, to taste
crushed tortilla chips for topping
shredded pepper-jack cheese for topping
Heat oil in deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for a couple of minutes, keeping the meat moving. Add onion, minced hot pepper, garlic, seasonings, and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium and cook together for 5 minutes to soften and sweeten onion. Add broth and beans. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and summer until you're ready to serve.
Top bowls with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
Feeds up to 6.