The fall is here-even my 20 month old knows it. I opened my front door to get mail and she said, “cold mommy!” The poor girl doesn’t know what’s coming. I used to love the changing Chicago seasons. Snow was something I could count on to give me one or two extra days off school as a kid. Now I look at the winter as a long, never ending season full of gray days, cold hands, sick babies, and the treadmill. Then came last winter which was the fifth snowiest winter since 1884 and the average temperature in January was 15 degrees. Add being 8 months pregnant last February and then having a freak stroke, well I guess you could say I have PTSD surrounding winter in the midwest! One positive, the only one I can think of right now, of winter is getting to cook all sorts of comfort food like soup, stews, and chilis. My favorite chili is a white bean chicken chili that I learned from my mother-in-law. It is so easy to make, I can barely call it a recipe. It is filling, creamy, tasteful, and a perfect weeknight meal. A bowl of this chili while watching the Bears in my sweatpants and ugg slippers is where I will be this year trying to enjoy the few things that are enjoyable about a Chicago winter. Who needs daily sunshine and above freezing temperatures anyway?
White Bean Chicken Chili:
1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 (16 oz.) cans Navy Beans (undrained)
2 (4.5 oz.) cans Chopped Green Chiles (undrained)
1 cup chicken broth
1 (1.25 oz.) envelope White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix from McCormick’s
shredded cheddar cheese
Directions: In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the other ingredients. Bring the whole mixture up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Serve hot. Add toppings to individual bowls of chili.
*You can also serve this with tortilla chips on the side for dunking. The chilies give the soup a good amount of heat so the chips make it feel like a Mexican meal.
*I like to serve this hearty soup with an easy green salad. If I am not serving tortilla chips, I like to serve bread on the side for dunking.
*I have had a hard time in the past finding the seasoning mix at some stores. When I do find it, I buy five or six packets so I can make this chili anytime.