Chili in August

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My guys wanted chili – in August. Who thinks that way? In theory I sort of get it, school has started, and it was a rainy night in Nashville. Memories of last winter’s homemade chili were long behind us and no hearty beef chili is likely to appear in the immediate future with temperatures remaining in the 80s and 90s. But that was the request, and so I settled for a quick light summer chili. It’s my Easy White Chicken Chili – easy because I didn’t want to steam up the kitchen boiling chicken so I used a rotisserie. 

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 Easy, because we have a vast pepper garden thanks to my son’s weird obsession with hot foods. (But the local markets have your back with plenty of peppers to choose from.)  I thought about throwing in some corn and zucchini, and you could certainly do that, but I was incorporating what I had available and sticking with a recipe we have enjoyed for years. The problem with some white chili recipes is that they are really a soup. Chili needs to have a little thickness to it to qualify – at least in my book. One simple solution is to use two cans of white beans and mash or blend one can to add to the broth. That does the trick without incorporating thickeners like flour or cornstarch – really not a chili taste! It’s always fun to use hominy when you get a chance. We had it when I was little and then it sort of disappeared. Hominy has a unique taste and texture -and it’s white – a plus in White Chicken Chili.  Corn would work too if that’s what you have. The little bit of heat comes from fresh peppers; add more or less to taste. I have one guy who loves hot and one who does not, so I try and land in the middle. The good news is that this is a great simple recipe for anytime of year. Make it special with a topping everyone can customize, like avocado, sour cream and cheese. Serve it with chips or cornbread if the spirit moves you. But make a batch and serve it, you’ll be glad you did. Delicious!

Easy White Chicken Chili


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

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1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp coriander

3½ cups chicken broth

2 cans white beans, drained

1 can hominy, drained

Juice of 2 limes

1 rotisserie chicken, shred meat, discard skin and bones (2 to 3 cups)

Optional: 2 Tbsp dark rum

Optional garnishes: cilantro, avocado, lime, green onion, and sour cream, cheese

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Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium high heat.

Add peppers, onion, and garlic and sauté until beginning to soften.

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Stir in chili powder, cumin, and coriander cooking 1 minute until fragrant.

Add chicken broth and 1 can of drained beans and drained hominy.

Blend the remaining beans or mash with a fork and stir into chili mixture.

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Add lime juice and chicken and simmer for about 20 minutes for flavors to incorporate.

Blend in rum if desired, and serve in large bowls with garnishes of your choice.

Chili in August? Have they Lost their Minds?         

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