Leftover Wednesday – The Pioneer Woman’s White Chili

I actually had 2 leftover nights in a row this week, but I am only going to tell you about 1 today and I’ll save the other for later.  We had The Pioneer Woman’s White Chili.  I have wanted to make white chili for a few years now but the hubs discouraged me.  He is not a fan of chili at all.  I don’t blame him.  I never ate it growing up and it looked gross – all that ground beef and beans nobody eats except disguised in chili…  Well, I now make a yummy vegetarian chili that I can not get enough of, but the hubs still doesn’t want me to make it.  You see, his tummy cannot take cooked tomatoes.  And canned tomatoes are the staple for any home manager feeding a family on a budget!  *sigh*  Anywho, his need to stay away from tomatoes was the perfect reason, in my book, to make white chili, but he wasn’t having it.  Probably because we both thought it had to involve ground chicken or turkey which, let’s face it, is usually dry when cooked.
But Ree Drummond came to the rescue and provided me with a fairly simple White Chili recipe that uses pulled chicken meat, not ground.  And that’s not even the best part!  This recipe not only helped me clean out the fridge, but also clean out the pantry.  *insert angels singing, here*

I did not make White Chili with the intention of it being a Leftover Wednesday meal.  It had just been on my mind since watching Ree’s Food Network show over the weekend, on which she made regular chili.  I went looking for a recipe yesterday so I could get the necessary ingredients at our big, bi-weekly grocery shopping trip, which is tomorrow.  As I read through the ingredients list, I went on a hunt through the house to find out what I did and did not have.  Turns out I had it all in the house already and I didn’t even know it!  I don’t even know why I bothered looking, that’s how sure I was that I had nothing but I’m so glad I did.  I found the block of Monterey Jack cheese in the freezer (had no idea it was there!) and half a bag of Great Northern beans sitting on the pantry shelf in the basement along with a can of diced, green chilies.  3/4 of the remaining cilantro in the fridge was melting (if you buy cilantro regularly, you know what I’m talking about) but there was one handful’s worth completely untouched, so I ripped it off and used it.  Sill jalapeños in the fridge from the guacamole-that-never-was Memorial Day weekend and 1 onion and half a head of garlic left.  Chicken stock and chicken is always on hand and don’t ask me why I have Masa.  Don’t even remember why or when I bought it but I’m glad I did!  It was divine intervention that this dish came together this week, I’m tellin’ you!  I do have to say, the thawed chicken breasts sitting in the bowl in the picture, above, don’t look right.  I can identify a couple of body parts that are not fit for mixed company.  Moving along…

The original recipe said it made 8 servings.  I halved it and got 5, 1 cup servings, which was plenty to feed the adults in this house.  And if you are on Weight Watchers, 1 cup of this stuff = 8 points, with 4oz of cheese in the pot, no extra in your bowl.  The 3 of us had 2.5 cups total at dinner and then I froze the rest in a quart-size freezer bag for another night.

Ree’s chili is not as wet as mine and her beans are bigger.  The hubs loved the chili but did comment the beans seemed a little underdone because there was some firmness to them.  There totally was and I know why.  The beans were old.  I believe I bought the bag originally when we tried B on the Feingold Diet 4 years ago.  So, it will get added to the rotation and I will buy new beans!  Let me know if you try this one!

 

**Update – I don’t use dried beans when I make this chili anymore.  I use canned beans that I rinse off in a colander.  Makes this an easy, weeknight dinner!  :o)

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