This post is a milestone for this modest little blog of mine. A few weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food, reached out looking for cookbook ambassadors for her newest cookbook 100 Days of Real Food Fast & Fabulous (available for the lowest price right now if you pre-order it before October 25th! Like, half the price of the MSRP..hello!). I’m so honored to have been one of the bloggers she chose, because she’s had such a big impact on how Brooks and I cook and look at food.
Seeing as 2 of the 4 recipes I had (now it’s 3 out of the 5 🙂 ) on this blog were Lisa’s, it’s safe to say we love following her recipes. Brooks gets the credit for stumbling onto her blog originally, but both of our bellies have benefited from the discovery. I boast to my friends that her recipes are simple, use easily accessible ingredients, and they always. turn. out. We haven’t had one bad recipe from her. All bow down to Lisa. (Her kale pesto pasta from her first book is still one of our top 5 favorite meals to make…and my girl even has another amazing looking pesto recipe in this newest book)
It’s kind of funny, because after ripping open the package like an animal when the book got here, I started to aim right for the recipes, which meant skipping over the first chapters of introductory information. I had thought I had already read what I needed from her blog, but was stopped short when I realized just how many awesome resources she packs into the front of the book.
Her guidelines for what she considers real food, where to find it (like, specific stores and brand names of food items that she loves), guidelines for what to make versus what to buy, meal plans and meal planning templates, shopping lists, etc. I almost did myself a huge disservice by trying to skim past it. As for the recipes themselves, if the amount of sticky notes sticking out of a book tells you anything, then look no further…I stickied half the book. The breakfast and lunch sections were especially helpful to me because it’s all quick, realistic things that I’d be able to make and enjoy on weekdays.
Okay, okay, you get it. Lisa is amazing and her book is amazing (seriously go buy it, and her first one for that matter), but let’s get down to business. This white chicken chili; I think the magic happens somewhere between the spice mix and mixing in the delectable 1/4 cup of heavy cream at the end. The house still smells of cumin and chili powder as I type this, and no one is mad about it.
With only 13 ingredients (including the various spices) and a 30-minute cook time, who can resist a warm chili to enjoy during these fall days? Not us. And, like I mentioned earlier, the spice mix….😚 I know it isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it smells so, so good. When you mix it in with the chicken, onions, and jalapenos, kittens are born in a field. I’m sure of it.
I do have to make a confession and say that next time I’ll make it a little differently. I used my dutch oven to make this against Lisa’s instruction to use a ‘medium soup pot’, which resulted in the liquid level not totally covering the beans as well as I’d hoped. I also think I’ll up the corn a tad. But other than that, this was a total winner. Even Brooks who “doesn’t like beans” had two helpings.
We took her advice and topped ours with freshly grated cheese and chopped avocado, with the addition of crushed tortilla chips for some crunch. Next time I might add a dollop of sour cream, too. Mmm. So exciting to have a go-to chili recipe that isn’t too heavy and makes us feel good. Now do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of her book, and try out this recipe while you’re at it!
White Chicken Chili
Yields: 4 servings; Prep: 10-15 minutes; Total: 40-45 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
Two 15-ounce cans white beans (such as Great Northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth, store bought or homemade (page 103 of her book)
1/4 cup heavy cream
TOPPINGS: Chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated Monterey Jack cheese, diced avocado, and/or corn tortilla strips
In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until the onion has softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside (add more olive oil if the pot starts to dry out), 4 to 5 minutes.
Toss the minced garlic and spices into the pot and turn a few times to coat the chicken evenly. Add the corn, beans, and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, about 20 minutes.
Break up some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon to help thicken the chili. Stir in the cream, garnish with the desired toppings, and serve!
Lisa’s Tip: This dish is also great with leftover cooked chicken. Just skip step 2 and add the cooked chicken with the garlic and spices in step 3.
Makes great leftovers and is freezer friendly
This recipe is straight from Lisa Leake’s book 100 Days of Real Food Fast & Fabulous with permission. All photos are mine.