Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chicken Chili with White Beans

I have a recipe for a green and white chicken chili that I've made and loved in the past. The problem with it is that there are some ingredients that can be hard to come by in my area. Fresh tomatillos, green or white chili powder.  The chili powder is an especially difficult get. I found this great spice store in Charleston a year or so ago, and I bought a baggie of green chili powder that was awesome, but I ran out of it long ago.

But that's okay, because I was able to churn out a great chicken chili without it. And without the tomatillos or fresh cilantro. It didn't come out as vibrant green as it usually does, but it still came out great.

Chicken Chili with White Beans

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 lb chicken sausage
  • 1 lb dry white kidney beans
  • 1 32 oz can Italian peeled tomatoes - drained and rinsed
  • 1 large white onion - diced
  • 4-6 stalks celery - diced
  • 2 green bell peppers - seeded and diced
  • 6 good sized jalapeno peppers - seeded and diced
  • 12 oz beer - any kind
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 oz Goya Recaito (cilanto based seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
 - Soak the beans overnight per instructions on the package.  You will need to cook the beans separately from the chili as they takes a while.

 - Add the ground chicken and sausage meat (removed from the casing) to a large pan.  Cook thoroughly over medium heat, using a wooden spoon or spatula to mash the meat up into small pieces and then set aside.

 - Heat the oil in a stock pot (one with a lid), then add the onion, celery, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers. Simmer for several minutes, until the onions are a bit translucent.

 - Add your tomatoes*, beer, chicken broth, salt, chili powder, cumin, white pepper, cayenne pepper and Recaito.  Bring to a boil, then add the cooked chicken and sausage. Once you bring it back to a boil, you can reduce the heat to medium-low or low, cover it and simmer for 2 hours or so. Stirring regularly.  The tomatoes and the rest of the vegetables will break down nicely in that time.

 - While your chili is simmering, cook your white beans.  It should take around 2 hours as well. You want the beans to be still a little firm, but easily pierced with a fork. Again, go with the instructions on the package.

 - Add the cooked beans to the chili and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

 - Serve with rice, sour cream, tortilla chips and some lime wedges for garnish.

 - Yum, 'em up!

*I drained and rinsed the tomatoes so that the chili didn't become "too red", but you can leave the sauce in if you prefer. If you do, reduce the amount of chicken broth by half.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja in Spanish means "old clothes", but don't's much, much tastier than that.  It's a traditional Cuban beef dish with shredded beef, green peppers, onions and tomatoes.  There's a joint nearby that serves a great version, but the best I've ever had was at a Cuban restaurant in Key West called  El Siboney. Here's what their version looks like:

The version I came up with came had a bit more of a tomato base than this one, which was fine.  I also served it with yellow rice and beans, but I also added some pico de gallo and queso fresca.  Came out great!

Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes)

  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion - sliced thin
  • 2 green bell peppers - seeded and sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade or otherwise)
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped
 - Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the flank steak in the vegetable oil on both sides for about 5 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and set aside.

 - Add the broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, vinegar and cilantro into either a slow cooker or a large sauce pot if you plan on cooking it on the stove top. Whisk thoroughly.  Add the beef, onions and peppers and mix.  If you are using a slow cooker set it to low and walk away for 6 hours or so.  If you are cooking it on the stove top, cook it on low with a tight lid for around 4 hours.  Stirring only occasionally

 - Remove the flank steak from the stew, and set aside to cool...say 15 minutes.  Shred the steak with either a couple of forks or your hands. I suggest your hands. How often do we, as adults, get to play with our food like that. Add the shredded beef back to the pot, turn up the flame a bit and heat for 5 minutes or so until it's nice and hot.

 - Serve with warm tortillas, yellow rice, beans (I used kidney beans in a chili sauce), pico de gallo and queso fresca.

I didn't think to take any pictures of it when we had it for dinner, but here's a picture of a plate I put together the next day for lunch.