This recipe is from my friend Nita Brooks, who’s a) a quintessential Southern belle, and b) an amazing cook. She prepares the greatest dinners at my former online writing group’s conferences (which hopefully we can do in person again!). Cooking for a crowd is its own skill!
At one of these conferences she made this chili, and I loved it. I loved it even more once I learned how easy it is to make.
This white chili has become my go-to recipe whenever we have leftover turkey, i.e. after Thanksgiving, when we tend to have lots of that rather dry turkey breast meat that doesn’t lend itself well to being reheated on its own.
So, into the chili pot it goes! You can use leftover chicken, too, of course, I just never have any…
White Chicken Chili
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 gloves of garlic, minced
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped (or all the leftover turkey you have!, or four chicken breasts…)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel Mild Tomatoes (if you can’t find that, just increase the spices below)
2 tbsp. chili powder, 1 tbsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cans cannellini or Navy beans (I recently learned to drain them ahead of time, letting them sit in a sieve and running water over them a few times – this cuts down on whatever substance that tends to give us gas)
2-4 cups chicken-style broth (how much will depend on how thick you want the chili to be)
Heat oil in large soup pot. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add garlic. Dust mixture with chili powder and cumin, and sauté for about two minutes. Pour in both cans of tomatoes. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. Add turkey or chicken as well as beans, then pour in as much broth as needed to create a thick soup. Let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring once in a while, until flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper, add more chili powder or cumin to taste.
It’s even better the next day!
Check out another favorite soup recipe: Chunky Butternut Squash Soup
It’s the beans I’d object to.
My mother would take the leftover turkey and make one or two meat pies.
I used to worry about the beans, too, but this is so good, it’s worth it.