22 March 2010

Chicken Chili Blanco

Every other monday night we have a bunch of friends over to play Shadowrun, an old-school pencil, paper, and dice role-playing game.  So every other week, I make a really big dinner for about 8 adults.  Some of the players bring their kids, but the kids only eat sometimes, and even if they do, it's never enough to make me have to make more food than I would for their parents.  This means that almost every other sunday night I'm either planning or prepping Monday's dinner so that it's not the only thing I do Monday afternoon.

Also, since we're trying to cut back on spending so that we can save up for whatever we need to afford our infertility treatments, I've been trying to find inexpensive things to make, hopefully with leftovers.

Behold - Make-Ahead Chicken Chili Blanco (12 big servings)

You will Need:
A Large Pot
A Largish Slow Cooker
8-10 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (I used frozen)
2 Lbs Dry Great Northern Beans
1 Large Onion
1 T Ground Garlic
1 T Ground Cumin
1/2 T Ground Coriander
1 T Cracked Black Pepper
1 T Dried Parsley
1-2 T Dried Oregano
1/2-3/4 t Cayenne Pepper
2 t Sea Salt
6-7 cups Chicken Broth ( or substitute with boullion, cubes, whatever)

Toppings (all optional):
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Crumbled Bacon

Rinse the beans and put them in the large pot, covered with water, to soak overnight.

Put all of the dry ingredients into the slow cooker.  Finely chop and add the onion.  Mix it all together.  Cut the chicken in to 1/2 inch cubes.  I use frozen chicken.  It cuts fairly easily with a butcher knife, and I don't have to wait for it to thaw before I start, either take it out before you start doing anything else, and watch a TV show or something, or, zap it in the microwave for a minute or two.  You don't want it defrosted, just a little bit softer than fully frozen.  Add the chicken and mix again.  If you're using a bullion paste or cubes, now's the time to add them.  Put the whole thing in the fridge, and wait until morning.

In the morning, Drain the beans and add them to the chicken mixture, as well as the broth (or water if you added boullion the night before.) Turn the slow cooker on to low, and go to work.

When you get home, Check the Chili to see if it's the consistancy you want.  If it's too thin, don't worry about it, as you stir it some of the beans will break up and thicken it up. If it's too thick, add some broth to bring it to the consistancy you want.  Serve hot, with any of the possible toppings listed above.

The chili without toppings comes in at about 300 calories, 27g Carbs, 26g Protein and 3.5g Fat per serving, just be careful if you're watching your salt intake, it's pretty high, sometimes I substitute lite salt.

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