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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Anti-recipe #24 chicken chili-ish/soup-ish type dish

So I made the best soup the other night. Really, really good. I mean. REALLY. Really. Good. And I am not one to be boastful - highly discouraged as a Midwesterner - but this is perhaps the best recipe, er, antirecipe, I have invented yet. Even fancy-pants gourmet dada professed that it was highly delectable. That is saying something.

So, true to form, it started with a dilemma. What to make for dinner. With a sack of pinto beans and some defrosted chicken thighs. So I think, its cold and yuck out, soup sounds good, maybe chili?

And that is how it turned out, kinda soup/kinda chili. All yummy.

First, I wanted to use the crockpot but I realized I would need to precook the beans. And the chicken. Chili with bones in it doesn’t quite work. So I washed and soaked the beans for an hour (wash, boil for a few minutes, then let them sit) then I added fresh water, a little salt and started cooking them. Make sure you keep checking your beans as you will need to add more liquid. (Chicken stock would’ve been good but I just used water) And of course, you can substitute with two cans of beans. Any kind of white bean would’ve worked.

Then as the beans were cooking I skinned the chicken (EW. I really should be a vegetarian) and boiled it in a just like two cups of water for 10 minutes, maybe less.

While this was going on I chopped some onion and threw them and a good chunk of butter in the crockpot on high.

(Yes, this is a lot of cooking and steps for me. But I was feeling motivated. I also ignored the children for awhile…)

I took the chicken out, pulled off the meat, and threw it in the crockpot along with the broth resulting from the cooking of the chicken. (Very badly structured sentence I know. Apologies.)

So I just let all this stew for awhile in the crockpot while the beans finished cooking. Obviously if you are smart and start your beans first you can just add it all at once. I am not so good with dishes that require all the steps timed out properly. Inevitably something ends up cold or forgotten.

I added spices at this point. Cumin. Garlic salt. Cilantro. And I would’ve added chili powder but I couldn’t find it until later when dada told me where it was.

Once the beans were good and smushy I added them and their broth to the crockpot. Now the easy part. Sitting and waiting.

We ate late, after the kids were in bed (sometimes that is just easier, am I right??) so this cooked for a long time, like 5-6 hours. A few hours into cooking I added some plain yogurt. Sounds weird but really added a nice creamy-ness to it.

If you want more of a chili-like dish just add less liquid, maybe omit the bean liquid. And amp up the chili powder.

So, once the kids were down (phew!) I whipped up some biscuits following the recipe on the back of the Pamela’s Baking Mix. Can I say, OMG, the best biscuits you will EVER EAT. Better than regular flour biscuits by far. So flakey and tasty and moist. Totally making some more today.

And there you have it. Really yummy soup. We added bits of cheddar cheese. You could also top with fresh cilantro, sour cream, etc. maybe even tortilla chips?

You will love it. I swear.


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