November 8, 2006

Company Chili Cook-Off Today

Today the 2nd Annual Learfield Chili Cook-Off is being held. I believe we will have 11 pots of chili entered in the contest. I just love our company food competitions. We have a great group of people that work at Learfield and they are always willing to pitch in extras. The ones that aren’t bringing in a crock of chili are pitching in peanut butter, Fritos, bags of all types of shredded cheese, saltine crackers, soda, pie, the list goes on and on.

I made a pot of chili, but it’s the non-traditional type. Instead of the traditional tomato based chili, I made my own white chili. Why? Simple: I wanted to be different. Sometimes in these type of contests judges like “different.” I just hope that is true in this case.

People are funny about chili, you never know what they will like. For instance, I love sweet tomato based chili, but others think that the word sweet and chili should not be in the same sentence. My husband loves hot and spicy and I do mean hot chili. I can’t handle really hot food. I think that if I have to suffer while I eat my food then there is a problem.

Either way, we all have our own preferences when it comes to chili. Here is the recipe to my own McConnell White Lightening Chili. Let me know what you think of it.

White Chili

McConnell White Lighting Chili
by Lane

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up or chicken tenders
2 cans great northern beans, rinsed
1 whole white onion, diced
2 cups frozen white corn
2 yellow bell pepper, diced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3-6 habanera peppers, depending on how “hot” you want it
½ cup white wine
* 4-6 cups of chicken broth
2 small cans of green chilies, chopped
4 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 -1/2 tbsp. ground white pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 lime, squeezed for juice
½ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
Parsley to garnish with

In a large skillet heat oil and sauté chicken, garlic and onion. Cook for about 12 minutes or until chicken is done.

In a large pot (I use a Dutch oven) add chicken broth, cumin, coriander, pepper and salt, lime juice, green chilies, chili flakes, Italian seasonings, peppers ( if want a milder tasting chili use less peppers about 3 because 6 makes it very HOT) and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium, cover with lid, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the chicken, garlic and onion mixture, plus the corn, beans, yellow bell pepper green chilies and white wine. Check you seasonings at this point and see if they suit your taste buds.

Cover and let simmer for approximately 30-35 minutes.

When finished, remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Garnish with the shredded cheese and parsley; serve with crusty garlic bread or tortilla chips.

*Depending on how thick you like your chili add or reduce the amount of liquid.

*Please serve this to the judges with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkled cheese and a few sprinkles of parsley.

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