This simple, subtly spicy, and enormously rewarding white chicken chili comes together in about 30 minutes, plus a little mashing time. You can up the heat factor by adding jalapeno seeds and a little cayenne. Don’t forget the toppings – they add to the experience, and let kids customize the dish to make every bit their own.
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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
2/3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 (15-ounce) can large white beans (like cannellini beans), undrained
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup grated low-fat Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese (optional, but suggested)
Cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Mix in the garlic, jalapeño, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't worry if it's a little soupy.
2. At the end of 20 minutes, mash chili lightly using a potato masher, until about half of the beans are broken up. This will give the chili a thicker consistency that will be thickened even more by the cheese.
3. Serve topped with grated cheese and, if you like, warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.
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