There are days where the weather is so stereotypically fall-like, you have no option but to make some sort of soup for dinner. Tuesday was one of these days, it was grey, windy, and was crisp. Everybody was in some sort of bad mood “because of the weather,” and it would have been the perfect day to sleep in all day.
Chili is wonderful on a day like that, but we had red chili just over a week ago, and so it wasn’t time to do that again. We needed something delicious and warm to eat, along the lines of chili, so we made a white chili. Except we didn’t have everything that we would need to complete it, so we made some adaptations. It wasn’t as good as normal, but it was still tasty.
We found this recipe a few years ago when I was really wanting to try a white chili, but didn’t know of any good ones. My mom and I went to the Food Network website and started looking around. There was one that had a lot of onion and garlic, it seemed like it would be a good fit, because who doesn’t love onion and garlic?
Tuesday, though, we didn’t have fresh onion. It was a horrible realization, because we were set on having white chili and we knew it wasn’t going to be the same. We didn’t skip the onion, though. That would have been insane. We used dehydrated minced onion, so it still had the flavor, but obviously it fell a little short. The recipe also calls for shallots and roasted garlic (actually it has you roast it), but for the sake of time and resources, in the past we just added extra onion and garlic instead.
Also, we skip the spinach, it’s really not that important to the recipe. We have adapted this to our own tastes, and while we find spinach fine, it just seems to be a distraction to the chili.
When you make the chili, watch the temperatures that you use, you cook all of this stuff in the same pot except for the chicken, so you may need to back the heat off if you are changing pace.
You start out with the onion and garlic sauteing in the pan in some olive oil, make sure it’s not too much, it can mess things up later in the cooking process. You can not let this get too hot, it will cook the rest of the way once everything boils, but if you burn it now, there’s no going back. Then you make a roux with some flour, this is why we had to be careful about the oil, it needs to be very floury, almost seeming too dry. You deglaze the pan with some wine or chicken stock next, so it’s okay that it’s a little dry.
The rest of the chili is pretty straight forward, stock, chilies, seasoning, simmer for a while (no really, let this baby bubble away for a little while, you’ll thank me), add the cream and the rest of the seasoning, and serve.
When you decide to eat the chili, wait another minute before you put that spoon in your face. It’s hot. I’ve burned my mouth many a time because I was so excited to eat it. It’s worth the burn, but within the last two weeks before All State Auditions it might not be. I normally serve it with a soft cheese, like muenster (I had some left over from the sandwich I made Friday night) or jack.
This chili is beyond yummy, I obviously have had this before, so the is no question on whether I will be making it again or not. It will probably a little while before I can make it, but I definitely will do it soon. It’s a lot better with fresh onion and shallots, as well as when you through some more garlic in there.
It works really well when it’s reheated, the flavors have a little more time to meld together. It’s awesome even if you take it in a thermos to school for lunch. I promise, I do this so much. Probably because I love this chili so much.