2015 Winning Chili Recipe
Let me start off by saying, I definitely did not expect to win the ASI chili cook-off!! My life was recently touched by one of my favorite patients, Diane, who had ALS. She loved to cook amazing meals, and even when the terrible disease took away her ability to do so, she still found a way to make magic happen in her kitchen with the help of her caregivers. Diane would spell out recipes with her letter boards, using our own system of blinks and smiles to let us know when we were on the right track. Her wonderful husband, Jim, was still able to enjoy delicious home cooked meals right up until the very end. I worked with Diane for about a year before she passed, and at every meal we would sit together and watch Food Network or the Cooking Channel while she was being fed through a tube. Together, we would imagine how great the food must taste or how fun it would be to have our own cooking show. It was through hundreds of hours of studying the pros that I learned to appreciate the art of cooking even more than I already did! With that in mind, I am hardly worried about giving away the “secrets” to my winning recipe for White Chicken Chili. Hopefully this will inspire some great entries for next year’s 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off!
Kate’s White Chicken Chili Recipe
Disclaimer: I don’t write/keep/use recipes. These are just the ingredients/techniques I used! Unless specified below, all ingredients are added to taste and were most certainly not measured.
- 1-2 pints organic free range chicken stock
- 1 whole roasted chicken
- 1 can (or 2 ears) white/yellow corn
- 3 types of white beans, drained from their liquid (I like to use different sizes)- candelini, garbanzo, navy, etc.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4-6+ large peppers; from Ken’s garden if possible, diced
- Spices: white pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, chipotle chili powder, celery salt, minced garlic, smoke seasoning, crushed red and black peppers, and finally, 3-5 dashes each of mustard, thyme, and turmeric.
- Diced tomatoes, if you’re in to that kind of thing. I opted for “not” in this particular recipe.
Add all the spices and heat while the broth/liquid is clear, even if it’s a little too spicy, it’ll cool down with the next few ingredients…
Bring all of the above ingredients to a boil and then turn down the heat to low/simmer. Next, make a millet* roux, and once the chili has cooled down a bit (as to not cook the doughy-mixture!), gently stir the roux into the chili to thicken it.
Finally, I mixed in a dollop of cream cheese (you can use sour cream of course!) and topped with some jalapeño shredded cheese for good measure.
*Millet (a gluten-free wheat alternative) – mix with some of the leftover chicken stock into a roux and then stir in to thicken the chili “broth.”
Finally, some things I learned from all those cooking shows with Diane–
- Cut veggies into different sizes or shapes. They will cook at slightly different rates and give added texture and flavors.
- Chicken cooked on the bone absorbs all the marrow and goodness and flavor. I used a medium sized roast chicken and hand-pulled it from the bone before adding it to the chili.
- Get the broth pretty spicy when its clear, just slightly beyond tolerable. Adding the millet roux, shredded cheese and cream cheese (even sour cream too!) will all bring down the heat…
- The difference between baking and cooking? Baking is a chemistry-based science, which requires careful measuring and the use of specific ingredients and procedures. Cooking is more of a preference/experience-based art as opposed to a science. There are many ways to interpret and prepare just about any dish. That’s what makes it fun! And why I choose to skip the recipes 🙂