I’m ashamed to say that 5 years ago, I didn’t even know that there was a such thing as white chili. I knew there was spice level variants on tradition red bean and meat chili but that is about it. Now-a-days, it’s quite rare for me to make a pot of anything but!
Back in Fairmont, WV, at our most favorite establishment ever to exist (Book ‘n Bean on Main street, which sadly has since closed!), when fall was in full swing, everyone knew it meant the annual Chili Cook Off was just around the corner.
So I remember that year, 5 years ago, when Lorie and Michael, the owners of the coffee shop, spent the day cooking a chicken rotisserie style over a bonfire and created something that seriously changed my life.
White Chicken Chili. Thankfully, she was all too happy to pass on the recipe.
This is something that I have since, greedily, kept all to myself, bringing to potlucks and serving company whenever the opportunity arose. However, I have decided to lay it all out and share the wisdom so you can all have this mouthwatering dish as often as possible!
Here is what I used in THIS batch (yes.. I change it up a bit sometimes)
White Chicken Chili
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts
1 can of cream of chicken
1 can of cream of celery
1 can of cream of chicken and mushroom
¼ cup chopped jalapenos (or to taste)
2 cans of Cannelloni beans
2 cans Rotel tomatoes (drained)
1 package of white chicken chili seasoning mix
1 block of cream cheese, softened.
Put the chicken in a pan with enough water to cover it about half way. Let it simmer, until it is cooked through, turning as needed. Most of the liquid will evaporate - just don't let the pan dry out. Once it cools down, shred the chicken up. You can shred with a fork, but about halfway through, I almost always end up just picking it apart with my fingers. It seems more efficient. I like to do this step before adding anything else to the crock pot, because I can visually see how much there is and gauge if it is enough.
Once all the chicken is shredded, you can add everything except the cream cheese. Do not drain the beans, but DO drain the tomatoes (or it will turn it a pink color) Also, add about half a cream of can filled with water. Stir and Cover.
Since you have cooked the chicken, you can set the temp depending on your time schedule. If you have many hours, set on low. If dinner is in within 2-3 hours, I’d set on high. The longer it sits, the better the taste.
Once it's well heated, drop in the cream cheese and mix well. If you put it in before it is prepared to melt, you risk it not mixing and possibly curdling.
At this point it is ready to eat, or can sit and simmer flavors together as long as you need.
Best enjoyed with homemade beer bread!!
When shopping for ingredients I usually tell myself “cream of WHAT THE HECK ever.” I think one should always be chicken. My favorite was cream of onion, but I haven’t seen it in years, so I now do the celery.
The cans could be any white beans.
The best cream cheese is Philadelphia Cooking cream cheese - Santa Fe blend. My store stopped carrying it.. If you find it, send me a case!! It adds a nice spice, and can be added at the beginning with everything else.
This was the first time using Rotel. My normal is one can of diced, no salt added tomatoes. But this worked out well and added an extra kick!