Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Chili Saga

   Lee asked for Chili. He didn't get chili. But I tried to oblige him. We were expecting last minute company, a family of 9 or 10 or 50 or something. I suggested chicken soup, but Lee wanted chili.

So, I take inventory. No hamburger. No kidney beans. Hmm. I live over 10 miles from the nearest grocery store, and it closes at 6. I'm half again farther from the one that closes at 9. Needless to say, I'm not in the habit of running to the store when I don't have an item.

So, I decided to make chicken chili. In my book, chicken chili has white beans and a creamy sauce. But Lee can't have dairy, so we improvise some more, and come up with a fairly thick chicken and bean dish that I called Chicken Chili.

It's a typical Nita-type meal, with a little of this and little of that, except that I am a bit more careful than usual, since I do plan to serve it to company. 

But the company didn't come. 

So, I have a huge pot of chicken bean soup, and we aren't even going to be home to eat it. 

So, I take it with me to the mini conference at the neighbor's. I hear the dish was well-liked. And dear Lee, who insists it is NOT chili, also insists that it is GOOD (without once reproaching me for not using a recipe!) But it didn't all get eaten.

So, I brought it home and put the left-overs in the freezer. 

Less than a week later, the meal I had planned to take to an elderly couple flopped. I'm looking in the freezer  for ideas, and the chicken stuff pops out at me. It'll do in a pinch. Off I go with my chicken-not-chili-soup. 

And, what do you know? My dear friend LOVES it ~ and asks for the recipe. 

Now mind you, this is a friend who can't cook any more. She doesn't know she can't cook, and I can't tell her she can't have the recipe. I also can't tell her to throw in a little of this and a little of that. 

So, I rack my brain, and I think, I think I remember. No amounts for salt and pepper, but the rest should be pretty close:

1 lb navy beans, cooked til soft, and drained
chicken legs and thighs, about 3 lbs
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
chopped onions
2 cloves garlic
chili powder 

Gently boil chicken. Remove meat from bones and cut into pieces. Add chicken and a little bit of the broth to cooked beans. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. Add 1-3 tsp chili powder, if desired. 

It's all eaten now. No picture.


  1. Oh Nita...I you had me laughing as I read this. I was going to stop over for some but then I get to the end of your post and it's all eaten!!

    Thanks so so much for linking up over at WholeHearted Home ;-)

  2. I make a chicken chili that *is* from a recipe, and it is not a lot different that what you wrote down. It is called white chicken chili and is like this:
    Cook onion & celery in a bit of oil. Add chicken and great northern beans (soaked & boiled), 8 oz salsa and black olives. Serve with jalapeno pepper cheese grated on top.

  3. Yes, truly Nita style! I loved reading this and could picture you and Lee's banter...:)