Monday, October 15, 2012

Spicy White Chicken Chili {crockpot}

I love the actual process of cooking.  It can calm my mind and my nerves...soothe my spirit.  Simple tasks like chopping and dicing, measuring and weighing, sautéing and stir-frying?  They all have a way of bringing me back down to earth and connecting me with myself again.  That's probably what drew me to this field in the first place.  A big part of it, at least.

That said, some days, I just don't have the time for all that good stuff.  School projects and field trips and homework and errands and appointments have a way of taking a toll on a person.  And sucking their precious "time of relaxation" away from them.
And it's days like these that I send out a silent thanks to the creator of the slow-cooker.  Or not so silent thanks.  Either way, I'm grateful to be able to "cook" a good meal by simply dumping everything into a vessel and setting "go".  Six or eight hours later, when I feel like collapsing through the front door, a welcoming blanket of beautiful scents welcome me  instead and lift my spirits.  Spirits that definitely would not be lifted if I had to go into the kitchen and figure out what to make for dinner that night.

This is one of those meals that I want to come home to after "a day".  Warm, comforting, and spicy enough to give me a big ol' kick in the batootie.  You know, so I can get motivated to do everything around the house that didn't get done during the day while I was out.

Spicy White Chicken Chili {crockpot}

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours (unattended)
Keywords: slow-cooker soup/stew chicken tomatillos tomatoes beans Super Bowl tailgating American fall winter summer

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~22 oz.)
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet ranch dressing mix or equivalent homemade
  • 1 Tbs. hatch green chile powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. roasted, ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. white pepper
  • 8 oz. neufchâtel (light cream cheese)
  • 2 tomatillos, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 3½ c. Cannellini beans (or 2 - 15.5 oz. cans, lightly drained)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, undrained
to garnish:
  • sour cream
  • green onions, sliced
  • shredded cheese
  • fried tortilla strips
Instructions
Place all ingredients in the crockpot in the order listed; cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir up good to blend everything and to break up any clumps of cream cheese. Use a couple of forks to reach in and shred the chicken and stir everything around again. Serve garnished as you wish. Enjoy!

notes:
This chili is seriously spicy. If you like a lower heat level, reduce the amount of chile powder and/or jalapeños.
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