Friday, January 25, 2013

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I'm in total denial that about winter.

Even though I've been happily knitting up a storm for my sweet cousins, friends, strangers on the street. Is Katie cute or what?

Winter is my arch-nemesis and it certainly shouldn't be this cold without snow. Without snow! Seriously, Kansas, give us something prettier to look at than our dry, brown front yards. We need one serious whiteout with snowmen that don't melt for weeks before spring comes. When our snow finally comes, you'll find me under a blanket fort huddling with the cats. And a bowl of this chili.

This is one of my favorite ways to warm up from the inside out. Ok, so its my second favorite. My obsession with marshmallows has not subsided.

Even though I much prefer to spend my time in the hot box of a Kansas summer, this chili is a close substitute in these chilly months. Crank up the jalapenos and you'll have your own personal summer. Go ahead, sweat it out at the dinner table.

Chili when you're chilly, its meant to be. Grab a bag of Fritos scoops while you're at it, just think about the spoons you won't have to wash.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili:
Makes about 8 servings

1 1/2 - 2 pounds bone-in chicken leg quarters, or whatever chicken you have on hand
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 - 1 1/2 cups dry white beans
6 cups water
1-2 Parmesan rinds, optional
salt and pepper to taste
shredded Pepper Jack or Mozzarella cheese to garnish

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in order. If the chicken quarters have the skin on, you can remove the skin before or after the chicken is cooked. Leave the skin on for flavor and skim the fat before serving. 

Cook on high for 6-8 hours, on low for 4-6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, remove the chicken and set aside to cool a bit before boning, leaving the lid off the slow cooker. The bones should slide right out of the meat. Using tongs or your hands, remove any extra fat and shred the meat. 

By this time, a lot of the fat should have risen to the top of the pot, skim the fat with a shallow spoon and discard. If you want to thicken the soup, whisk a 1/4 cup flour or cornstarch into 1 cup of hot broth until smooth and then stir into the soup. Add chicken and serve with a sprinkle of cheese.