Chicken Chili with White Beans and Chipotles

Source: March 200? issue of Health magazine

What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 (15.5-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • See 'What you do' for alternative
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
    • Available at Publix in the Mexican food section
    • Chipotles are smoked red jalapeno peppers and pack a smoky punch of heat
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
    • See 'What you do' for alternative

What you do:

  1. Cook the chicken breasts.
    • Alternative for diced cooked chicken breast and chicken broth: Personally, I prefer this recipe with shredded chicken than diced cooked chicken. To do this, I buy a package of chicken breasts with rib meat on the bone with the skin (usually 3 breasts in one package). I then cook the chicken breasts by boiling them in chicken broth (approximately four cups of broth; enough to cover the breasts in the pot). Once the chicken breasts have completely cooked (approximately 15-20 minutes), I remove them from the chicken broth and I reserve the remaining chicken broth from the pan --- I strain the reduced broth into a large glass (4 cup) measuring bowl. I use this reduced reserved broth for the 2 cups of chicken stock called for in the recipe --- this reduced broth has much more flavor than the stock from the can. Once the chicken has thoroughly cooled, I remove the skin from the meat and the meat from bones and then shred the chicken with my fingers. The three cooked chicken breasts will usually yield more than 2 cups of cooked chicken, so I just measure the needed 2 cups for the recipe and use the remainder in another recipe.
  2. Prep the chipotles.
    • Strain the chipotles into a bowl, separating the chilis from the sauce, and reserve the strained sauce. Remove the seeds from 1 chipotle and chop into very small pieces (as if you were mincing garlic).
  3. Heat oil in a nonstick saucepan/soup-pot over medium heat.
  4. Add onion; saute until soft.
  5. Add cumin, beans, and (reduced, reserved) broth to pan.
  6. Add the chopped chipotle and 2 teaspoons of the reserved adobo sauce to the bean mixture; bring to a boil.
    • This amount of chipotles and adobo sauce packs a fair amount of heat. If you would like more heat, I recommend serving the remainder of the adobo sauce and more chopped chipotles as a condiment to the finished soup. That way, individual people can spice up their soup as much as they want.
  7. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes.
  8. Blend 1 cup bean mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return puree to pan/pot.
    • Personally, I skip this step. To me, the soup is thick enough without pureeing some of the beans.
  9. Add chicken.
    • Also, I often add another cup of the reduced reserved broth if I think the soup is a bit too thick. Plus, if you're cooking the soup ahead of time, or if you'll be serving it the next day, the beans often soak up a fair amount of the broth.
  10. Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Serves 4
Topic revision: r2 - 15 Feb 2007, TheresaScott
 

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