Thursday, May 23, 2013

Smokey White Chicken Chili

The weather turned colder this last week and has rained quite a bit. On damp, chilly days don't you just feel like curling up in a blanket and reading?? or watching a good chick flick? I do! But since I have to work all day, I like to come home and make something yummy and warm!! and damp chilly days call for soup! I ran across this recipe here and couldn't resist trying it out last weekend. I did tweak it just a bit, I had leftover smoked chicken that I needed to use up, and I LOVE smokey paprika so that is what I used. The broth for this isn't quite white with the paprika and other spices in it but who cares. We loved this Chili! I topped mine with grated cheese, a dollop of guacamole and crushed Blue Corn tortilla chips. YUM!

Smokey White Chicken Chili
2 or 3 cooked chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (I had grilled mine and had leftovers, but a roasted chicken would be delish too)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 heaping teaspoon finely minced garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced)
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth (or about 4 cups)
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon Smokey paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (8 oz) pkg Neufchatel cheese, cut into 12 slices (aka light cream cheese)
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained ( or 1-1/4 cups frozen works too)
2 (15 oz) cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, ( I like to use the Tubes of chopped Cilantro using 1 heaping Tablespoon. Love those tubes that you can find in the produce department)
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, for topping
tortilla chips, for topping
Guacamole, for topping, if desired

Heat olive oil in a 6 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add diced onion and saute until it starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Add  cooked chicken, green chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, cayenne and saute for a couple of minutes longer (just to get the spices fragrant--this smells wonderful!)
Next, add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in corn, and just over half of the Cannellini beans. Then in your food processor, add the remaining beans and the cream cheese with 1/4 cup water (or slightly more) and pulse until this mixture is smooth and pureed. Add this cream cheese and bean mixture to soup, stir and simmer about 15 minutes longer. Stir in the fresh lime juice and Cilantro and serve with Monterrey Jack cheese, guacamole and tortilla chips as toppings if desired. Enjoy!!

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