Monday, November 17, 2008

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Having recently learned that I am pregnant with our third child (we're thrilled!) my husband and I are wondering what differences we will discover between my first two "normal" pregnancies (which actually triggered my autoimmune thyroid disorder and subsequent diagnosis with gluten intolerance)... and this new totally gluten free pregnancy. Will I gain less weight? Experience less morning sickness? Have more energy? There have already been so many positive outcomes from my gluten free diet over this past year, I am definitely excited about a gluten free pregnancy.

Some things about pregnancy never change though, and already I find myself feeling hungry all of the time. For this reason, I have decided to keep large kettles of homemade soups and chili on hand at all times so in those sudden and desperate moments of extreme hunger*, I will have something nutritious and gluten free on hand that is ready to eat. For this reason, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different varieties of chili.

I am really proud of this new chicken and white bean chili which is very easy to make, savory and filling. The combination of spices – cilantro, chili pepper, cumin and oregano – brings out the best in both the tender chicken morsels and green bell peppers. An excellent budget meal, this chili will provide an adult sized portion for up to 8 people for somewhere between $10 and $15 dollars total! You can prepare it up to 24 hours before serving if necessary and, believe it or not, the flavors will actually improve with time as they continue to combine inside of your soup pot or storage container.

Everyone in our now-expanding family loves this new recipe ~ and happily I can attest - after many helpings - that it seems to agree with our new baby-on-the-way as well! (Our children have always loved spicy food...) We hope this chicken and white bean chili brings you luck and many blessings, along with a satisfied tummy!

Chicken and White Bean Chili

What You’ll Need:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into tiny pieces
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 large white onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery with leaves, thinly sliced
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
½ head of garlic (approx 6-7 cloves), finely minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
2 cans cannellini beans
2 tbsp chili pepper (or to taste)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 cup chicken bouillon
Sea Salt
Fresh ground pepper
Olive oil

Optional toppings..
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Organic sour cream

How It Works:

Pour a large glug of olive oil into a deep pot and place on burner at medium high temperature. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add chopped onion and sliced celery and cook Рstirring frequently Рapproximately 4 minutes until onions begin to soften and turn translucent. Add chopped green bell pepper, saut̩ with onions and celery another 4 minutes until peppers begin to soften. Next, add minced garlic and stir into vegetable mixture for approximately 30 seconds or until its aroma is quite fragrant.

Your chicken thighs should be cut into very small pieces – approximately ½ inch in length and width. At this time, add the chicken pieces into the vegetable mixture and cook at medium high temperature (stirring frequently) for another 5 minutes. Salt and pepper the chicken liberally. Add tomato paste, chili pepper, cilantro, oregano, cumin, diced tomatoes and cannellini beans with their juices. Combine the entire chili mixture well and then add chicken bouillon. Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for at least 30 more minutes. I personally simmer our chicken and white bean chili for up to two hours at a low temperature before serving, as the delicious taste seems directly proportional to amount of time cooking.

Top with sour cream or garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs as desired.

Serves 6 – 8.

*Extreme Hunger: If I don’t eat something RIGHT NOW, I’m going to (a) throw up or (b) become extremely grumpy and disagreeable. I’m pregnant!


Mary Frances said...

Congratulations! I know what you mean about have to eat NOW =) I'm still having that feeling at times even at 20 weeks.

The chili looks awesome. I think I'll put that on the menu for next week and sub in some frozen tofu or tempeh for the meat. I'm trying to make big pots of soup now, so that I can freeze some for meals this spring.

strivingChef said...

Congratulations to you as well!!! What a great idea to make pots of soup early to freeze for when the babies come. I love that plan :-)

p.s. Careful with the chili powder ~ I've heard not all babies in womb enjoy spicy foods as much as mine seem to...

alwayswinner786 said...

Your chicken bean chilly looks really great. I know it will taste very delicious also.I will surely give it a try.
God bless.

The Organized Dreamer said...

Congratulations, Lady! Too excited! Here's hoping you have a beautiful and healthy GIRL! ;)