Posted by: Bob Merrick | December 29, 2009

Winter Chicken Chili

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite nights of the year. It’s a night to bring family and friends around a table to enjoy good food, festive libations and fun games. This year, I stayed in town and invited myself over to the Cubaks. Nearly ten years ago, they welcomed me into their family and whenever I can’t make it to the Bay Area for a holiday, they are always at the top of my list. They’ve always made me feel welcome and treat me as one of their own. This year was no different. For dinner, Janet made a pot of Winter Chili like I had never had before. It should be known that I grew up with a distaste for beans, with the exception of two- Kidney Beans and Butter Beans. All of the others from pork and beans to re-fried beans, and especially my personal worst, black beans (no matter how hard I try, they taste like dirt) I tend to omit or steer clear. But Janet’s chili was so good, that I was the first to go back for seconds and talked myself out of thirds (on account of the divine dessert she had also prepared).

Then yesterday, I found myself craving another bowl of her chili, so I did what I do and I tried reconstructing it from my mind. The result was so delicious, that I have eaten almost the entire pot myself and I wanted to write it down so I could make it again in the future. The nice thing is, because the beans are already cooked, you can actually make this rather quickly if you are in a hurry, but the longer you can let it simmer (hour to an hour and a half OR for a few hours in a crock pot), the flavors just get better and better.

  • 1 lb chicken, cut up into small chunks (I like to use boneless breasts, they just make life easier)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 large 48 oz can of chicken broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tbs Cajun Spices
  • 2 tsp Cumin seed
  • 1 14 oz can of Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup
  • 1 small can of chopped green chilies
  • 1 15 ounce can of Great Northern White Beans
  • 1 15 oz can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 15 oz can Butter Beans
  • 4 Tbs of lemon juice
  • 1 packet lowry’s Chili seasoning

Sour cream and shredded cheese for garnish (some people also enjoy chopped cilantro, but I’m personally not a fan).

In the bottom of the pot, I sauteed the onions, garlic and chicken with a little olive oil. Once they were fairly cooked, I began adding all of the other ingredients one at a time (draining the chilies a little and rinsing all of the beans). It was really that simple and I can not begin to describe how delicious it turned out. I also loved having the different textures of the different beans. Made it feel more like a bean medley! I personally chose to not make this one as spicy (I tend to add more kick in my Chili Con Carne). You can certainly add more heat, but I liked this one as a cozy comfort under a blanket and spicy just didn’t seem to fit in that scenario.

I served it in coffee mugs with some shredded cheese and a dollip of sour cream. That sour cream is so key, that I may add it in earlier on my next batch and see how it turns out. I’m going to go have another cup right now. If you try it, let me know. I’d love to know what you think!

Janet served hers with a delicious cheesy toast that I can't even begin to describe or I will be driving to the store to make more. I took the easier route with Pilsbury flaky layer biscuits. I sprinkled a little Maldon Sea Salt on top before they went in the oven... perfection!


Responses

  1. I am so going to try this – and soon. Sounds delicious and I love the way you write the recipe directions. Even a kitchen dummy like me may be able to figure this one out!!!!

  2. It’s really simple according to what you described it. Since I am a vegetarian, I believe I can take those animal ingredients out and come up with a vegetarian chili recipe. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • You definitely can! The flavor and the different bean textures are really the focus in this dish.

  3. Is it one can of cream of mushroom and also one can of cream of chicken, or is there such thing as a a cream of chicken and mushroom soup?

    • It’s actually called cream of chicken and mushroom (and for those fearful of mushrooms, there are no mushroom pieces, it is creamy and adds flavor and thickens).

  4. Oh My Biscuits!!!!! This looks even BETTER than a mere delicious… this looks ‘LICIOUS!!!!! Thank you.. I love an easy breezy recipe that can be whipped up quickly. You know I think I’ll make some cheddar bay biscuits to go with it (the red lobster knock offs)!!!

    Thank you for sharing – LOVE the pics too!!!

  5. Ha! You beat me to the post. Am blogging about Janet’s recipe (and Christmas Eve dinner) soon. xo

    • I would love Janet’s recipe! I just made this one up from hers and what I remembered hers tasting like. Hers was soooo yummy!

  6. I make chicken chili all the time and love new recipes for it. Thank you!


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