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more chili – Gretchen’s White Chili Recipe

February 3, 2009

whitechiliThis is a picture of Gretchen’s white chili that I ate in Washington DC on election night  November 4, 2008.

I know I’ve gone on and on and on about how I was in Northern Virginia for three days campaigning for Obama last November.  And that I was in DC for election night and bore witness to the unabashed joy of Americans dancing in the streets that night.  It made a lasting impression on me.

As did Gretchen’s chili.  We stayed with Gretchen and family in Washington, and she’s a gracious host and fabulous cook.  This chili has none of the heaviness of regular chili – it is light, but flavourful and yummy.

Here are Gretchen’s notes about the chili:
This was from Whole Foods originally, and called for diced chicken breast.  I changed to ground chicken because I preferred the way it blended with the other ingredients.  When I make it, I have to say, the amounts vary from those given by how things taste that day, how many people I’m feeding and probably the phase of the moon.  You must all have had it on a particularly auspicious day.

Yes, November 4, 2008 was indeed a particularly auspicious day.

Chili Blanco with Chicken
-serves 6-8

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground chicken

Chili fixin’s
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large leek, sliced and washed
1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon chopped chipolte chilis in adobo
1 bottle light beer
2 cups chicken stock
1 can (16 oz) white cannellini beans, drained
6 sprigs cilantro, minced
juice of one lime
salt to taste

Mix together first six ingredients.  Add the ground chicken and let stand for several minutes.  Heat a large pot over medium heat and add chicken mixture.  Saute until the chicken is opaque.

Add the olive oil, onion, celery, leek, green pepper, cumin, oregano and chipolte chilis to the pot and saute two minutes until well combined.

Then add beer, chicken stock and beans, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.

Serve with sour cream or yogurt and avocado.

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