I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Tuxedo Chili

Here we are again. The days are cold and a little gloomy, the holidays are over, and it is time for hunkering down at home. Right about now, I imagine everyone is craving a nice big bowl of warm, comforting goodness. It’s always nice to have a little twist on a classic, and mine is this creamy chicken chili with the added touch of black beans along with the white – that’s why I call it Tuxedo Chili. Plus, this version is simple to make and packed with flavor. And what’s better on these chilly winter nights than a big, steaming bowl of chili?

I make this chili all the time, and I’ve always thought it’s really tasty. I shared the recipe with a friend and now every time we get together with folks, he tells people about how much he likes my “black and white” chili recipe. He says he makes it all the time. He’s a good cook, and a good eater, so I trust his opinion.

I love a meal like this with family or friends – everyone will love it, and putting out bowls of cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro or any other toppings you’d like for everyone to tailor their own bowl is always fun. Serve this with warm tortillas, corn bread, or try Super-Quick Smoky Cheddar Loaf for a hearty, warming meal.

Tuxedo Chili

Black and White Bean Chicken Chili

If you prefer, you can use ground turkey.

1 medium white onion

2 garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon oil

2 pounds ground chicken

2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups water

3 (15 ounce) cans canellini or great northern beans

2 cups chicken broth

1 (16 ounce) can black beans

1 (16 ounce) package frozen white shoepeg corn

1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles

Chop the onion and garlic finely. Add to the oil in a large Dutch oven . Saute over medium high heat until soft and translucent. Do not brown. Remove the onions and garlic to a bowl and set aside. (If the onions brown and overcook, the final color of the chili will be muddy. It will still taste delicious, but won’t look as nice. You can always top it with lots of cheese). Add the ground chicken to the pan and cook until browning slightly, breaking up into small pieces. Mix the oregano, cumin, chili powder, pepper and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the chicken. Add the onions and garlic. Pour in three cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until the water has reduced by half and the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse two cans of white beans. Place in a blender with the chicken broth and puree until smooth. Drain and rinse the remaining white beans and the black beans. Pour the pureed beans into the chicken mixture and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add the drained beans, corn, and green chiles and simmer until cooked through and thickened, about 30 minutes.

Serve in big bowls topped with grated cheese, sour cream and chopped cilantro.

This will hold, cooled and covered, overnight and reheated before serving. It will also freeze beautifully.

Serves 6

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