Tailgate Thursday (White Out Edition)

Michigan. Blech...

Try to get the ugly tast out of your mouth from just saying that with a White Chicken Chili reciepe that shoud keep you warm right up until kickoff.

6  pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded thin*

3-4  pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, coarsely ground*

1 1/2  pounds diced yellow or sweet onion

8  ounces thinly sliced green onion, white and light green part only

2  ounces minced garlic cloves

12-16  ounces each:  green and red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized strips

1  ounce minced jalapeno peppers, more or less, to taste

8  tablespoons butter

4  tablespoons corn oil

2  tablespoons Santa Fe Seasons Chile Blend, or 1-2 tablespoons Mexican-style chili powder

1  teaspoon ground cloves

1  1.5-ounce bottle ground cumin

2  tablespoons Santa Fe Seasons Six Seasonings, or 1-2 tablespoons Mexican oregano

4  teaspoons sea salt, plus an additional 1-2 teaspoons additional salt, to taste

1  teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less, to taste

2  teaspoons white pepper

1  40-ounce bag frozen corn

1  40-ounce can great northern white beans, undrained

1  16-ounce can refried beans

grated white cheddar cheese and cilantro leaves, for topping and garnish



Step 1: Place each chicken breast half, one at a time, between two food storage bags.  Using a flat-sided meat mallet, pound to a thickness of 1/4"-1/2".  Using a large chef's knife, slice each pounded breast half into 3 strips, then slice each strip into bite-sized strips and small, "torn" random-sized pieces. 

Step 2: Using a pair of kitchen shears, trim each boneless thigh of excess fat.  They may label them skinless, but thighs tend to have a lot of extra fat still left on them. Cut each thigh into 1 1/2"-2" chunks and place in work bowl of food processor that has been fitted with steel blade. Coarsely grind the thighs, about 10-12 rapid on-off pulses.

Step 3: Prep the onion, green onion, garlic cloves, bell peppers and jalapenos as directed.  I like to dice the onions and slice the bell peppers into bite-sized strips.  I also like to mince the garlic and jalapenos.  Please feel free to prep these ingredients in any manner you choose.

Step 4:  The spices.  If you read this blog, you've noticed I almost always us McCormick Spices.  However, in a lot of my Tex-Mex recipes, I use some very special spice blends sold by Apple Canyon a company in New Mexico. 

WCC #11 (The Spice Soldiers)

Step 5.  In a 12-quart chef's pan or stockpot (a chef's pan works best), melt the butter and corn oil together over low heat.  Stir in the chile blend, ground cloves, ground cumin, six seasonings, salt, red pepper flakes and white pepper. Add all of  the sliced chicken breasts and coarsely ground chicken thighs.  Stir until  chicken is evenly coated in the spice mixture.

WCC #12 (Raw Chicken Coated with Spices)

Steps 6 & 7: Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the chicken, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.  Stir in all of the prepped vegetables along with the frozen corn.  Return to a simmer and continue to cook until vegetables have lost almost all of their moisture and volume, about 20-30 minutes. 

WCC #14 (Vegetables Added)

Step 8: Add the great northern beans and the refried beans.  Stir until the refried beans are thoroughly incorporated into the chili.  Make sure you do this, so the refried beans don't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Return chili to simmer very, very gently, uncovered, about 30-40 minutes.  Add additional salt, to taste.  Remove from heat, cover pan and let chili steep and thicken for 1 1/2-2 hours... beans will soak up liquid.

Step 9.  Briefly and gently reheat chili and portion into individual-sized, oven &  broiler-safe crocks placed on a baking pan that is lined with a sheet of parchment paper.  Generously top each portion with grated white cheddar cheese.  IT IS A WHITE OUT PEOPLE, NO YELLOW CHEDDAR PLEASE. Place on oven rack positioned  6" underneath preheated broiler for 5-6 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

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