Wednesday, March 10, 2010

White Bean Chili

I have seen many white bean chili recipes, but this one on Ana Caban's blog looked really good to me. Just imagining the lime and cilantro focus topped with the avocado and tomato made my mouth water. Mmm.

I did notice, however, that it would be a really easy recipe to do in the NT (slow foods) style. Here is the adapted version I'm going to try. I'll post an update when I've tried it. I don't have any chickens on hand, so who knows when I'll get to it.

Keep in mind this is s-l-o-w foods. I don't start out thinking, "Oh, today I'm going to make chili." Instead I roast chickens when I feel like it. We eat some that day and I plan a second meal or freeze the rest. I cook a big batch of beans at once, again, use some and freeze some. I make bone broth when I run low. I try to keep slower things on hand already prepared, so when I decide to do the chili, it won't be a slow job. Yes, I could do it all in a day or two, but then I'd be crazy. Imagine focusing on a single meal for all day. Yuck!

Not to mention my bone broth would not be as nutrient rich as it will be after simmering for several days.

Slow White Bean Chili
  • 2 whole chickens
Roast using your favorite seasonings. A good combo might be 1/2 T salt, 1 t chili powder, 1 t garlic powder, 1/2 t cumin. Mix together and rub inside and outside of birds. Roast until falling apart using your favorite method.

Eat for supper. Freeze the rest of the meat. For bone broth see previous broth post. Although that original post is for beef soup bones, I include a note toward the bottom on using chicken frames.

  • 5-6 c dry white beans
Sort and rinse (in several changes of water). Put in large bowl, add water until level is several inches above beans. Add 1/4 c of whey. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse if you like. (I don't know what the difference is. I've seen directions both ways.) Put the beans in the crockpot (I use a 5 qt, I think; might be 6 qt) and cover with water. Cook on low all day or until soft to your preference. Add water as needed. I then usually use about half and freeze the rest. Adding an acid will prevent beans from softening further, so I add a bit of vinegar or tomato juice to the ones I plan to freeze so they don't turn to mush when thawed. I will also occasionally do this to all of them if they get too soft.

You could also cook on the stove top. I think they say simmer about an hour. I never do mine this way, so read the directions on the bean package to verify cooking time.

The Chili
  • 2 T fat of choice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Sauté vegies in fat until tender.
  • 8 c cooked beans
  • 4 c cooked chicken
  • 1 qt frozen corn
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 c lime juice
  • 1 T ground cumin*
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 t red pepper sauce, or to taste (Joe makes some awesome lacto-fermented hot sauce from dried chilies)
  • 4-6 cups bone broth
  • salt to taste 1/2 -1 T
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Make it a day ahead and it will taste infinitely better.

Serve with sour cream and wedges of tomato and avocado.

*A note on cumin. I've recently read up on cumin ( I think while planning for my tamales a while back). I found that cumin loses it's flavor very rapidly once ground. The stuff we get in the store apparently does not taste very like cumin ought. Hmm. One ought to buy only whole cumin and grind it just prior to use. The original white chili recipe recommended roasted cumin. I might try that some day. Here's the instructions.


Ana Caban said...

Thanks for sharing your version. :)

A Stafford said...

I buy both cumin seeds and ground cumin from an online Indian grocer--most of their spices, coconut milk/oil, etc are much cheaper--anyway, the ground cumin I bought from them does taste much different from that from the regular spice section at the store. It is much more complex tasting, if that makes sense. I'm wondering if it is fresher or what the difference is? Ground cumin is supposed to stay fresh in glass for about 6 months--I've never had any last that long, so who knows? Roasting the cumin seeds, then grinding them is currently a bit beyond my alloted time for food preparation. Let me know if you try it ---maybe the taste is worth it!

theMom said...


Thanks for the cumin info. It reminds me of a post cardamom on the crock pot lady blog.
Stephanie and some of the many commenters on her post described cardamom as an exotic spice, but I'm mostly familiar with it as part of blond and bland Norwegian baking. But when I read about using whole cardamom, I was very intrigued as to the differences.

Have you compared Toucan Asian foods in the K-mart mall in Grand Forks? We've gotten many things there, but don't get to GF very often any more. I'd be curious to know how it compares to the on-line sources.

Toucan is usually on our list of stopping points when we go for our annual thrift store day. So that will probably be the next opportunity I have for finding any whole cumin. I'll let you know if I ever try it.

Just as an aside, I noticed while searching for the above link, that Stephanie has a crockpot tandoori chicken recipe, too. (Sorry if I've already pointed you to this. I have this sinking suspicion that perhaps I have.)