October is National Chili Month. Unfortunately, in Texas in October, temperatures can easily be in the high 80s and even 90s, making it a bit too warm for chili.
This year, however, we had a cool front starting in September and for October we had a cold front with overcast and rain! Highs in the 40s, which is perfect for chili!
Now, as is also with Texas, Texas chili means a bowl-o-red, and Texas tradition dictates bowl-o-red chili means no beans. (Honest opinion: I don’t mind beans in my chili at times)
Now to flip everything on its head, my family actually prefers a White Chicken Chili, which I make a few times a year. In fact, it’s so popular that just about every time I’ve made it for family, work, friends, etc., everyone loves it and wants the recipe (which I gladly provide for anyone asking) So, without further adieu:
Chicken at Hart white chili
- 3 lbs ground chicken
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tbs lard or bacon fat
- 4 Tbs (4 cubes) chicken bouillon powder (I use Caldo de Pollo-mexican chicken bouillon)
- 1 Tbs garlic powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- ground cayenne pepper to your likeness/spiciness (or your favorite chilies powder)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 15 1/2 oz. cans northern white beans, rinsed, drained, 1 can puréed
- 1 qt. half and half
- 2 C. sour cream
- 2 10 oz. can Rotel Mexican-style tomatoes
- 2 4 oz. can diced green chilies
- 8 oz white cheese dip
- lime juice (fresh squeezed)
- Sautéed onion in oil in skillet until browned
- Add ground chicken and cook throughout
- Throw everything into crock pot (except limes) and cook on low for 6+ hours
- Squeeze lime juice on individual bowls as you serve.
As with all my cooking posts, I tend to change this up from time to time, and this is no exception. This round I used the smoker (again)
First off, instead of ground chicken, I smoked whole chicken breasts and chopped up in the food processor. Secondly, instead of white cheese dip (i.e. Velveeta) I shredded 8 oz of smoked white cheddar cheese instead.
And lastly, my wife can’t digest onions easily, so I substituted 1 Tbs of Onion Powder instead of sautéing a Texas 1015 sweet onion (sad face)
But pretty much the rest was easy. Dump everything into an aluminum pan, set the smoker for 225 and stir every thirty minutes until the cheese is melted, and everything incorporates into a hot, bubbling pan-o-chili.
3 hours later and the chili is ready!
So, how to consume? You can add tortilla chips (which is what we did) cornbread or just a plain ol’ bowl of the stuff and eat as-is. You can top with sour cream, hot sauce, jalapenos, shredded cheese, chives, whatever your heart’s desire.