Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snow Day Foods

We had another snowy weekend. It put me in the mood for making and eating soup and warm bread. I decided to try making some artisan bread and my mom's white chicken chili.

I have tried a few different white chicken chili recipes but I really like my mom's recipe the best. Actually, it's not really her recipe. She found it on the internet but she won the church chili cook-off with it so I'm just going to refer to it as hers from now on. (Seems like the white chicken chili recipes are always winning these days.)

It just has the right flavor and the right amount of spice.

White Chicken Chili

16 oz or so of canned white beans

1 large onion, chopped

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c chicken broth

2 cups half and half

1 tsp Tabasco

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 4-oz can whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped

3 boneless, skinless chiken breasts

1 1/2 c grated Monterey Jack
 (my mom uses Pepper Jack)
1/2 c sour cream

1. Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat and put in some butter and oil. Meanwhile coat your chicken with salt and pepper and maybe some chili powder. Throw them in the skillet and resist the urge to turn them over. Leave them for five minutes, or until nicely browned, then flip them. Leave it there until browned and then flip them every few minutes until they are done (which you can tell by poking a knife into the thickest part and seeing if it's white instead of pink).
2. Remove the chicken from the pan. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.
3. While waiting for chicken to cool, cook the onion in the same pan with 2 Tbs of butter until softened.
4. In a heavy pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients, melt remaining 6 Tbs of butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, for three minutes. Stir in the onion and gradually add the broth and half and half, whisking the whole time. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. (It will be nicely and obviously thick.) Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper (adjust quantities for your own liking). Add beans, chilies, chicken and cheese, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add sour cream. May be served immediately -- although it tastes awesome the next day.

Artisan Bread

The artisan bread recipe came from this website. The idea is to make a big batch of dough and then you can store it in your fridge for 2 weeks and just pull out a chunk whenever you want to make a loaf. You shape it, leave it on the counter for about an hour, and then bake it for 30 minutes. The key is to bake the bread with a pan of steaming water underneath which gives the bread its nice crusty outside and soft inside.

Here are the loaves I've baked so far. I think I can get at least 2 more loaves out of the batch over the next week.


  1. Can I come to lunch? Your bread looks divine. Yum.

  2. rob makes this bread all the time. it's so delicious!