Chili cook off for the win!

Yesterday was a perfectly chilly (sorry) day to stand around chatting, drinking beers, and eating warm and spicy chili. It was also a perfect day for MY VICTORY!

Although I may have sounded cocky going into this event, trust me that I really didn’t think I would win. There were 9 chilis present yesterday, around 45 tasters, and I was up against a “professional chef.”

I really loved being able to make and serve my food to that many people, though. I will say that it isn’t something you usually get to experience — aside from hosting a large party. Getting to serve people food is really fun. I should keep this in mind in the future.

incidentally, this smile is pre-win. i was just really happy.

And now what you all care about: The recipe!

I’ve posted this recipe before on LNE but I’ll repost for convenience and because I changed a few things this time. I can’t promise you’ll win a chili cook-off with this, but I can promise that it is absolutely delicious and a crowd pleaser!

White Bean and Chicken Chili 

Spice rub:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 1/4 + 2 tbsp gluten free or all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half
  • 1 teaspoon (+) Tabasco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (+) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (+) freshly ground pepper
  • 1  cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilis
  • 1 4-ounce can cut jalapeños, drained and chopped
  • 2 cans small white beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • light sour cream
  • cilantro, chopped
  • jarred chunky salsa or chopped tomatoes
  • extra cheese
  • tortilla chips

Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Season chicken on both sides with spice rub. Place in the skillet and cover with a lid. Resist the urge to turn them over until at least 6 minutes have passed. Flip them, and let them cook another 5 minutes. The chicken should be nicely browned and fully cooked (you can cut into it to check). When the chicken is finished, remove from pan and let cool. (Don’t wash that pan!) When the chicken has cooled enough to touch, shred it with your fingers and set aside.

In the same pan you cooked the chicken in, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and garlic, and cook and stir until softened. Set aside.

In a huge stockpot, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook and whisk for 3 minutes. Stir in the onion and gradually stir in the broth and half and half, whisking constantly. When the ingredients have been added, turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mixture is very obviously thick.

Stir in tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. (It’s important to do this first!) The plus sign in the ingredients signifies that you can add more to your liking. Then add the beans, chilis, jalapeños, chicken, and cheese. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

This chili can be served immediately, although for the cook-off I made it the night before and let all the flavors become good friends. This was clearly effective.

Top with cilantro, salsa or tomatoes, extra cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream.

4 responses

  1. Thank you so much for giving out your prize-winning recipe!!! I don’t have a “huge stockpot” yet, although I asked for one for Christmas. Rest assured, as soon as I have that beauty in my possession, I will be making this chili! Thanks!

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