Spicy Chicken White Chili

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Allow me to whet that appetite ...

Since I work from home and am self-employed, I'm always looking for ways to save extra cash ... especially when it comes to grocery shopping. It's just the boyfriend and I so buying food isn't necessarily that expensive, in fact, the items on our bill that usually cost the most are meat items. Sensible people who do not have the relationship with meat and sinew that we have, might go veggie in order to save a few pesos. That's not an option for us. We need meat like a baby needs milk.

Because of this happy dependence and blatant unabashed carnivorism, we shop on the sales aisle. Which at Asda(UK Walmart) is pretty easy since they constantly roll back prices. In fact, they tend to do this amazing deal: mix and match 3 packages of meat for £10. It's brilliant. We always get a package of boneless pork chops, usually prawns (shrimp) and some chicken, beef or lamb, depending on the mood. Because most people grocery shop for families of four or more, packages of meat tend to contain about six pieces, which is far too much for two people to eat in one sitting.

And, I'll be honest, I am a bit wary of the chemicals in meat and things, so I try to eat the smallest amount possible, favoring veggies and grains more than the meat, sometimes. That said, we normally have one piece each, unless it's really tiny, then we'll have two. In an effort to not waste food and to not be blocked into having a variation of the same thing three days in a row, we repackage our meat before freezing. Basically, when we get home and are putting away the groceries, we open up the meat and place enough for one meal in Saran wrap. Wrap it up and group all of the meat by type in labeled and dated freezer bags. So that one pack of six pork chops, pack of four chicken breasts and massive tray of ground beef or lamb, all gets divided. We get three meals out of the pork chops, two out of the chicken and usually two, sometimes three out of the ground beef or lamb.

Anyway, that's just a little tip from me. But, I said all that because, the chicken in this white chili recipe is from one such pack. Last shopping trip, we went to a different supermarket and they had packs of six chicken thighs and legs for £1.50 each. That's like ... less than $3. So, what we did was divided the chicken thighs and the chicken legs. I used the chicken thighs (after deboning and pulling off the skin -- I don't eat skin-on, bone-in chicken) to make the stir fry in the previous entry. I saved the chicken legs, cut the meat from the bone and removed the skin for the chili.

Alright here's what you need for the chili:
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp hot chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin + more for marinading
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans white kidney beans/navy beans
3 cups boneless, skinless chicken, boiled*
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp margarine
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
white pepper
2 cups white rice, cooked
Edam cheese (or any other white cheese)
*keep the water the chicken was boiled in for adding to the chili with the stock*

The method in the madness:
Coat the chicken pieces in cumin and allow to marinate. I let mine marinate all day.
Boil the chicken for about 10 minutes or until cooked. Boil the rice (1 1/2 cups rice for 3 cups of water).
Warm the oil in a large pan (I used my wok). Add the onions and the garlic and sautee until soft. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and oregano. Combine and sautee for about a minute. Stir in the beans, chicken, corn, chicken stock and a good portion of the water from the boiled chicken as well as salt and pepper.
Bring everything to gentle simmer and partially cover for 5 minutes. While it's cooking, combine the flour and the butter in a small bowl. Add the rice to the chili along with the flour mixture and cook until all incorporated, about another 5 minutes. Add a dash more of chili powder (if you like it hot), salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot, topped with smothered in white cheese.

Nom nom.

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry


To stir fry: to cook food in oil (mostly of the Asian persuasion) in a wok while stirring it.

That, is a spicy chicken stir fry, adapted from a recipe seen in the Everyday Chicken Cookbook.

I'll admit, the recipe in the cookbook is a bit ... lacking. The food looked good and the flavors all sounded brilliant. A big reason I chose this recipe was that it features the spice turmeric and I've been dying to cook with it.

Mostly because I wanted it stain my fingers that lovely ocher color and I love its fragrance and it's distinguished taste. My boyfriend's mom recently went to Morocco and brought us back a gift of spices and a cute mini tagine. Among the spices she picked up for us from the souq was a glowing bag of turmeric. Every time I went into my kitchen, I'd see it, like magical gold fairy dust, begging me to cook with it. Get some turmeric. It'll light up your palate.

Pork and Tarragon Tart with Cabbage and Smoked Bacon

Monday, January 3, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 
 Open Pork and Tarragon Tart

So, this recipe was modified from the pages of the Master Chef cookbook. It's a pork and tarragon tart with cabbage and smoked bacon and it is amazing. The pork is succulent and tender after absorbing the red wine and balsamic vinegar. The Granny Smith apples add a nice element of tartness to the dish and the charred red onions and garlic round everything out.

I tend to make my shortcut pastry a little bit rich, which helps it to absorb all of the juices from the pork and apples.

Served with a surprisingly yummy savoy cabbage dish, this is a phenomenal meal. I loved it instantly and am making secret plans to have it again. It's a quick meal if you're handy with making pastry dough. Quicker still if you prefer to buy pre-made pastry. The most tedious bit is chopping and dicing, but if you're wanting to work on your knife skills (or have a food processor) that's no problem either.