Monday, March 7, 2016

White Chili with Avocado Cream

Diced chicken, ground pork, corn, beans, a punch of lime, and a big dollop of avocado cream make this one flavorful white chili! Perfect for chilly late winter nights!

Ah, chili. A source of argument and competition among both regions and friends. I love a good old fashioned chili cook-off just so I can taste the numerous takes on a basic dish. Not to mention the playful bantering and competition! In Texas, a true chili does not contain beans and is typically pretty darn spicy. In Cincinnati, of course, it's a tad sweet (man, I love Cincinnati chili and spaghetti)! Most chili's, it seems, are tomato based in some way. While tasty, they sure seem heavy - though they are perfect for brutal winter nights!

A white chili, in my opinion, is a tad lighter. I can easily nosh on white chili into the spring months. The flavors tend to be a bit brighter - especially in this version! The avocado cream, lime juice, and white corn make this nearly a spring dish.

I'm not gonna lie - this chili isn't a quick weeknight meal. I will promise you that it's worth it and not near as complicated as it seems. It'd be a great Sunday night meal - and you'll have leftovers for lunch the next day!

White Chili with Avocado Cream
1 serrano chili
1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
4 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 chipotle in adobo sauce (just 1 pepper - not the whole can)
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided

8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 lb ground pork
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
16 ounce bag frozen white corn
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons lime juice
1 medium avocado
1/3 cup sour cream
Olive oil
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat broiler to high.

Place the serrano, jalapeno, and onion halves on a foil lined baking sheet. Coat the vegetables with cooking spray and place the baking sheet in the oven. Broil for 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Remove from oven and wrap the serrano and jalapeno in foil; let stand 5 minutes. Peel the peppers then halve them, discarding the stems and seeds. 

Place the peppers, onion, 1/2 cup stock, flour, chipotle pepper, and 1 can cannellini beans in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a couple tablespoons olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add the cumin, oregano, and coriander; saute 30 seconds. Add the ground pork and cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add the pureed onion mixture and remaining 3.5 cups stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth; gradually pour into pot. Add the diced chicken and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining can of cannellini beans, frozen corn, and chickpeas; cook 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low then stir in half-and-half, cilantro, and 1/2 cup lime juice; cook 3 minutes. Add salt to taste.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado. Stir in sour cream, remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, and salt to taste.

Top each serving with avocado cream.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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