Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Revisiting White Bean Chili and Reminiscing

As I'm sure most of you know, a good portion of the United States has been in the deep freeze. Then again, it is winter. I still don't get why some of the news reporters act as though we should be surprised by this. Nonetheless, this kind of weather equates to hot soups, stews and chili, at least for me. 
Last week, number one son requested I make White Bean Chili. Good idea. We haven't had that in a while so, being the good mom that I strive to be, I granted his wish. It was so good. Not to heavy, but oh so warm and yummy. And, since I didn't have a post ready for today, I thought why not revisit that dish here at the cafe. I know you won't be sorry.

Now there are two ways you can do this. The quick and easy way, or the longer, drawn-out way. This time, I did the easy way.

Here's what you're going to need:
  • 4 - 14 1/2 oz. cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 - 14 1/2 oz. cans chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper (you can use black, white just makes it invisible)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (secret ingredient)
  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken (grocery store rotisserie chickens are great for this)
  • 2 - 4 oz cans chopped green chilies (remember, they're not hot)
  • 1 tsp. salt
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.

Add chilies, 3 cans of broth, and seasonings. Stir together, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the spices incorporate.

Now, add your beans, chicken, and the last can of broth.

Put the lid back on and simmer for 1 hour.
Serve alone, or top with sour cream, cheese, green onions, or whatever you like.
The long version of this recipe involves dried navy beans. Soak them overnight. Drain. Then put them in a dutch oven with 3 cans of chicken broth, the chopped onion, garlic, pepper, oregano, cumin, and cloves. Bring to a boil; cover; reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until beans are tender. Then add the last can of chicken broth, the chicken, green chilies, 1 cup of water, and the salt.

In some ways, I think the long version tastes a little bit better, but time is usually of the essence. 

You'll have to forgive me, but I'm feeling a little bit melancholy. You see, today is my baby's birthday and he's turning--sniff, sniff--16. Oh, I know most of you have been through this before, as have I, but where has the time gone? 

It seems like only yesterday he was a little butterball, running around in diapers.
Is that a happy face or what?
His hunting days started early. These days, though, he's traded his six-shooters for a bow.
Today he's taller than his dad.

Happy Birthday, Michael! 


  1. Wow, that really looks amazingly delish --and Happy Birthday, Michael!

    1. It's one of those dishes that's even better the next day, Tina, so leftovers are great.

  2. I bet Dave would love this, Tex!!!! The combination sounds marvelous and I love cooking from dried beans but then you have to really consider that time thing. I rarely plan an hour ahead, much less a day ahead! My bad!

    I love that pic of Michael and Dad. What a stinkin' Western cutie!

    When I make red chili, the main ingredient is beef, of course, so this balance of beans to chicken is awesome.

    I'm hiding right now, hunting up video of colonial America to teach my least un's without too much gunfire....

    This is not as easy as I would have thought!!!

    1. They didn't have video in Colonial America?

    2. I'm with you on the time/planning thing, Ruthy. It's a rare occasion I plan ahead.

  3. I have all the ingredients so thanks for posting Mindy. We have an ice storm coming that is supposed to knock out power tomorrow so I best get crackin'!

    Every birthday is both wonderful and sentimental. They grow up so fast.

    1. They really do, Julie. And have you noticed that the older we get, the fast time flies? That is so wrong.

      Yes, this would be perfect to make and have ready because there will be plenty to last you. Hang in there and stay warm.

  4. Happy Birthday Michael!
    Thanks for posting this recipe, Mindy! We love white chili, and I had misplaced my recipe!!

    1. It's a nice change to traditional chili, isn't it Jackie? A little lighter, but still all the flavor.

  5. Love that happy face!!!!!!

    You know, I've never cooked with white kidney beans -- always used red. Is there a difference in flavour? We've definitely been having chili cold days up here too. Brrr. There's even a wind chill inside my house.

    1. Navy beans aren't referred to as white kidney beans, are they? I think navy beans are their own entity. I'm not a fan of kidney beans.

      Kav, you've never explained that wind chill inside your house. Are your windows that poorly insulated?

    2. LOL -- considering it rains between my outside and inside windows I'm pretty sure their not insulated at all. And the ginormous cracks and holes in the foundation contribute to the wind skittering across the floor. I live in a really trendy neighbourhood in the saddest looking house you'd ever want to see. My landlord won't do much in the way of renovations because the house isn't worth saving. When he sells, it will be bulldozed down and replaced with something slick and new and shiny. In the meantime I get to live in a drafty, falling apart house in a great neighbourhood for less than I'd pay for an apartment in a not so nice neighbourhood.

    3. Well, I guess there is a silver lining then. In the meantime, just pile on the layers, Kav. :)

  6. Happy birthday to the big guy! Is he driving yet?? You poor thing. I've passed the worst of that. :) My "baby" turned 18 this fall. Can't believe it.

    I need to make this recipe!! I would love it. I love beans.

    1. Not driving yet, Missy. Drivers school starts next month.
      If you like beans, you will live this recipe. While I do use the full pound of dried beans, I tend to go heavy on the chicken. Love the combo.

  7. Replies
    1. It really is, Melissa. Even more so the second day. Thanks for stopping by.