Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A chance of snow and white bean chili

Yesterday afternoon I hit the grocery store while Michael had the day off and was at home with the kids. We were pretty much out of all the staples - bread, milk, juice, eggs, cereal and so on. It was time to buy some groceries. While I was going down aisle after aisle, I kept hearing the word "snow" come up in conversations around me. Our T.V. hadn't been on all day and I really had no idea what the weather was supposed to do, so I finally asked the bag boy as I was checking out.

"So there is a chance of snow?"

"Yes, we are supposed to get two inches tonight. We have been super busy today with everybody making a mad dash for milk and bread."

So that was the point I got clued in. If you are from the South then you understand that this is a BIG deal around here. We rarely get snow, especially the kind that actually sticks to the ground. When the weather announcers are calling for a chance of snow it is almost like a major hurricane is coming. Everyone runs out to the grocery store to stock up on milk, bread and necessities. I'm not really sure why, but they must think that they are going to be stuck in their homes for quite awhile.

Sure enough, I turned on the news and they were calling for an 80% chance of snow during the early morning hours. It wasn't long before all of the school districts in this area cancelled classes for Tuesday which got the kids rather excited.

And it was the perfect weather situation to simmer together a warm pot of white bean chili.

We enjoyed this chicken loaded chili with a side of corn bread last night and it was tasty. Served with a sprinkle of cilantro and a side of sour cream and Mexican cheese, all I can say is "yum!!!" I am using the leftovers for burritos one night and you just can't get two meals any easier than that. Check out the recipe below:

White Bean Chili

3 cans great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
5 cups of chicken stock
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup diced onion
2 small cans of diced green chiles
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts shredded
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Cilantro leaves chopped for garnish

Drain and rinse beans and place in large pot with chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot with beans. Add chicken, cumin, oregano, pepper, white pepper, and red pepper flakes. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1.5 hours. Garnish with cheese, chopped cilantro and sour cream if desired.

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