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home : lifestyle : food   February 5, 2016

10/9/2013 11:25:00 AM
Light color and deep flavor make a healthy white chili

AP photo/Matthew MeadWhite chicken chili with lime uses white beans, a good source of fiber, which means this chili will fill you up.
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AP photo/Matthew Mead
White chicken chili with lime uses white beans, a good source of fiber, which means this chili will fill you up.
The Associated Press

The first time I ate white chicken chili, it was wrapped in a burrito. And I fell instantly in love.
Of course, I’d always been a fan of tomato-based red chili, but the white version struck me as cleaner. And I didn’t miss the sometimes cloying sweetness that tomatoes bring to red chili.
So here is my lightened-up version of white chicken chili. It can be eaten straight up by the bowl, over rice or spooned into a whole-wheat tortilla. To make this dish creamy without any cream, I thickened it by mashing up some of the white beans. Combined with a tiny bit of reduced-fat sour cream, the mashed beans provide this slimmed-down chili with a luxurious texture.
Good flavor and thickening ability aside, white beans also happen to be a powerhouse of good nutrition. They’re a terrific source of fiber — which means this chili will fill you up — and a very good source of folate and manganese.
The list of ingredients in this recipe is longish, but good chili requires a fair amount of flavors. This version, unlike the traditional one, doesn’t need to simmer for hours, which makes it quite do-able on a weeknight. Then again, if you happened to cook it on a weekend and didn’t serve it until a few days later, the flavors would only improve.
If you can’t find ground chicken, use ground turkey or swap in lean ground beef.
As written, this recipe isn’t especially spicy. To save time, I call for canned green chili peppers (which are quite mild) and generic chili powder (a blend of ground chili peppers and spices).
But if you wanted to heat it up, you can lose the canned chilies in favor of fresh ones. Poblanos would be perfect, as would chopped and sautéed jalapenos and serranos. Or you can use pure chili powder made from ground dried chilies, such as chipotles. Or finish the dish with your favorite hot sauce.
And don’t forget the garnishes. They add so many layers of flavor and texture to the finished bowl of chili.

Servings: 6
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup white wine (optional)
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (use 2 cups if not using the wine)
2 (15½ ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (4½ ounce) cans chopped green chilies (use less if you prefer a very mild chili)
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
Salt and ground black pepper
To serve:
Chopped scallions
Chopped fresh cilantro
Grated low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
Lime wedges
In a large nonstick skillet over medium, heat the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and red pepper, then cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Add the chicken and cook, breaking up the any large pieces, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder, flour, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the white wine, if using, and the broth in a stream, whisking. Bring the mixture to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, use a fork to mash 1 cup of the beans. Add both the whole and mashed beans and the chilies to the chili and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and cook until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the chili into bowls and accompany at the table with scallions, cilantro, cheese and lime wedges.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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