Want to Delight Others of All Ages with From-Scratch Con Carne?
Chesterfield-based Experience Realty Partners Owner/CEO Kathy Helbig-Strick has perfected a white chicken chili recipe over several years’ time, and she was kind to share it with Chesterfield Lifestyle.
“This is the No.1 unanimously requested meal by all three of my kids,” she confirms. “They love dipping buttered, rolled tortillas into the soup, and they relish the leftovers almost as much as the first bowls!”
Kathy hit a new level of satisfaction in the recipe when she added chicken bouillon. She says at first the chili was a little bland, so the bouillon added both flavor and saltiness. She also added more cumin and oregano than called for in the original recipe.
“I just keep sprinkling almost equal amounts throughout the entire cooking process until I reach the desired savory flavor. Use just a bit more cumin than oregano to keep ratios on target.”
Kathy also suggests adding corn starch at the end of preparation to thicken the chili.
“Because my kids like to dip tortillas, the chili needs to be thick and creamy enough to stick to the tortillas. But don’t forget that cream cheese and the bag of shredded cheese will be added at the very end so that helps thicken it just a little bit more after the corn starch stage,” she adds.
She says she often keeps an extra can of Great Northern beans set aside for leftover chili because the beans tend to disintegrate in the heating of the chili; that way, more beans can be added during leftover meals.
White Chicken Chili
6 large boneless chicken breasts (or meat from two, large precooked rotisserie chicken breasts to hasten preparation time)
3 32-ounce boxes chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 medium cans chopped green chiles
1 large white onion, diced
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
2-3 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder, or to taste (3-4 cubes)
Great Northern beans (48-ounce jar or four smaller-sized cans)
1/4 cup corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste
2 packages Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Toppings, if desired: Monterey Jack cheese, diced onions, sour cream, jalapeño peppers, avocado, tortilla strips, lime juice, arugula, corn
Arrange chicken breasts in baking dish. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until chicken is done. Cool briefly, pour out liquid, then shred meat with forks.
Dice one large white onion.
In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion for 2 minutes, then add minced garlic into the hot oil and onions. Cook for 1 minute or until onions start to soften.
Add green chiles to onions, sprinkle flour over mixture and heat on low for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add Great Northern beans, 2 1/2 boxes of chicken broth, cumin, oregano, black pepper, chicken bouillon mixture, Bring to a low boil. Add shredded chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, about 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste, along with more cumin, oregano and boullion, if desired, to taste.
Take 1/2 cup of room-temperature chicken broth; add corn starch, stir until smooth and add to hot mixture until desired thickness is reached.
Remove chili from heat; stir in 1/2 cup sour cream and bag of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Stir until melted and creamy.
Serve with toppings of choice.
Note: This chili is great served with warmed flour tortillas, spread lightly with butter and rolled for dipping.