Thursday, November 08, 2007

Easy As Chili?

The only thing better than warm homemade soup or chili on a cool pre-winter evening is one that comes together in about 25 minutes (AND, my usual mantra - everything was already in my pantry!)! I know most of you out there are saying that a 25-minute meal can't possibly be called chili - isn't that supposed to sit on the stove for hours (not to mention, include some kind of ground beef)? But since I didn't name this dish, I take no credit or blame, as it may be. If I am permitted, though, to add my two cents, it seems that loosely defined, chili might just be pretty much anything, combined with chiles, used to make a delicious and hearty stew, so with that...

Chicken Chili Blanco
serves 4

6 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
nonstick cooking spray
1 lg onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 c sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
1 (15 1/2 oz) can reduced-sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 1/2 oz) can cream-style corn
1/2 c chopped red or green sweet pepper
1/2 c dry white wine
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
dash salt

1/4 c snipped fresh parsley (optional)
freshly grated cheese (optional)

Spray a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat saucepan over medium heat.

Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add chicken, onion, and garlic. Cook about 2 minutes or till chicken is no longer pink. Stir in chicken broth, mushrooms, kidney beans, corn, chopped pepper, wine, chilies, cumin, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in parsley (if using); top with cheese (if using) just before serving.

*My quick notes: make sure to use generous amounts of the spices; I didn't have any mushrooms and still had a filling meal; and, I think I'll add a couple of drops of hot sauce next time!

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