In a couple of weeks my neighborhood will hold their annual Chili Cook off. Last year I won! If you want that recipe I posted it under soups, stews, main dishes and International. Over the years I have won 4 other contests with that chili! But this year I am taking a BIG risk, changing my entire recipe to different ingredients, flavors, methods, and even a different color! But the biggest risk of these is my ***Marinade. READ ON to the bottom.
I realize I am taking a big chance here posting my recipe when the contest hasn’t happened yet. But here’s why I’m not worried: First, I might make some last minute changes. Second, I have passed recipes on for years to others, only to have them say, “Mine just didn’t taste like yours!” And third, I have a few neighbors who follow me and might be in the contest, but I trust them completely as the honest and honorable people they are! And again……that ***marinade.
WHITE CHILI (Surprise! See below for my unusual ***marinade)
2 or 3 lbs. chopped, marinated turkey, chicken or pork (or a mix). NOT ground. ***See below for my marinade!
1 large chopped onion
3-6 oz. chopped green chilies
1 cup chopped sweet peppers (I used orange and yellow to try to keep the chili white, but red bells are my favorite for flavor). Also if you like more spice, add a couple of jalapenos
1 or 2 cans Cannelini beans
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 quart Chicken broth (More later if needed)
1 tsp. each spices: (more to taste) cumin, Italian seasoning or oregano, salt, pepper and 1 tsp. sugar (entirely optional, so wait till the end to add it). A little Sugar simply brings out flavors. But if you already like the flavor, omit it.
1 cup corn (I used fresh from 4 sweet corn cobs), or 1 package frozen sweet corn. Find the sweetest corn possible. Trader Joe’s has a great one. If you can find Shoepeg…get It!
1-2 cups sour cream or Mexican “cream”
Method: Marinate the meat for a few hours in your choice of marinades, or simply sprinkle the meat with Salt, Pepper, taco seasoning (in the packet), “Sauzon” or other Mexican seasonings. Drain meat and sauté about 5 minutes in oil. Add onion, cook 5 more minutes. Then add all peppers, spices, corn, chicken soup and broth. Add more broth if necessary. Taste test for flavor. This is where you decide how spicy you like your chili. Sweet peppers add no heat. Jalapeños or Habaneros do. Do your own thing. Simmer awhile, and about 1/2 hour before serving, add the beans, sour cream and adjust flavoring. this is where that Tsp. of sugar comes in. It doesn’t really make the chili sweet, but it does bring out other flavors, just as some salt does. And remember, my Margarita marinade (see last paragraph) had sugar, so maybe you don’t need any!
***When I was deciding my flavors for the meat, I remembered all the many marinades I have used for Mexican dishes. They often involve Tequila, wine, lime, sugar or agave, citrus such as orange…..and VOILA! I remembered that leftover from our Monday night ritual watching Bachelor, I had about a cup and 1/2 of Margarita left over. It was made with fresh oranges, tequila, lime, and the orange “shrub” I posted last week on this site and instagram: askmehowiknowcb. So, I took a chance. I chopped chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and added Salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and MARGARITA!!! Yep. That’s what I did. When I was ready to sauté the meat I drained the liquid mostly of and baked it in my new oven as shown above. But of course you can sauté in oil. Just lightly brown it. No need to fully cook it as it will simmer in the chili for a couple of hours.
I’m not finished yet…..but after the contest on January 26 I’ll let you know my final touches. So stay tuned!!!