Wicked Witch White Bean Chili
Mother Nature has been bad, very bad…..Instead of preparing for a fun-filled day of Halloween parties and the traditional Mummer’s Day Parade in Hagerstown, Maryland, we were busy dusting off the trees, staying warm and lighting candles, due to power outages from the October 29th, 2011 Nor’Easter, that struck the Northeast. The parade had never been canceled in the history of the parade, except during World War 2. With almost 4″ of very wet snow, leaf covered trees cracked, snapped and caused havoc on power lines throughout the region.
After dressing in full snow gear and cleaning off the branches of our beloved curly willow tree, that was bent over from the weight of the snow, I decorated my vintage Statton Hutch for the season…and then I decided to cook up a dish that I had only once before, a White Bean Chili. I don’t know why it took me this long to make this dish, because, frankly I like it almost better than a traditional chili. Using chicken instead of beef, it has an almost chowder quality to it. Spicy and warming, it is a perfect Autumn dish. This recipe is my version, culled from several recipes I’ve researched. I used diced boneless chicken thighs, as we like the flavor better than breast, but feel free to use your favorite type of chicken or even turkey in this chili.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
3 medium poblamo peppers or your favorite mild green peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seed, found in the Spanish food section
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
2 -15 ounce cans white beans, drained
1 can corn
1 cup water
4 ounces canned diced green chilies, or diced green tomatoes
1 dried or fresh whole hot red pepper
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup non-fat cream
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onions, diced finely green peppers, I used a mini food processor for this, the cumin seed, garlic and red pepper flakes. You want the herbs and spices to cook in the oil so the flavors permeate the dish. Cook, stirring until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes.
Add the raw chicken that has been diced into bite size pieces. Stir and let brown for about 5 minutes. Add the white beans, water, oregano, dried whole red pepper and chilies and cook partially covered for 30 minutes. Add the corn, taste for salt and add more red pepper flakes if desired. Cook another 10 minutes. Before serving add the cream, stir until gently warmed.