For as often as I make chicken dishes, it’s kind of weird how seldom they show up here on the blog. Maybe because chicken, as a rule, is just not the most visually appealing of meats and therefore not terribly photogenic, whether raw,
or in “original” form:
See what I mean? Chicken needs to go on one of those reality makeover shows like Ten Years Younger before it’s camera-ready. (Ironically, I just looked up that show. It aired ten years ago. Whoa. That’s meta.) Anyway, chicken. It may not be going to win Miss Teen Meat USA, but dang if it’s not cheap, versatile, and easy to cook. At our house we’re all over chicken like white on meat. Even in spite of our part-time vegetarian status, we probably average at least one chicken dinner per week. And a chicken dinner earns bonus points from me when it also contains wholesome ingredients and can go from fridge/pantry to table in under 30 minutes, like this super-simple white chicken chili. Did I mention it also only uses one pot? YEAH.
So on a weeknight when life is crazy and you know you won’t even make it home until 6:45, with a little planning, a delicious dinner can make it to the table by 7:00…which beats this kind of chicken any day:
And even though it might not be the prettiest dish you ever serve, it’s a bit like the quote from the mother to her daughter in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town–it’s “pretty enough for all normal purposes.” Like dinner in a pinch.
15-Minute White Chicken Chili
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken
2 c. crushed tortilla chips
2 15-oz. cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 4.5-oz. can diced green chilies
20 oz. chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except cilantro. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro.