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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Easy Chicken Chili

Greetings from muggy Middle Georgia! We're all moved in now and I'm trying to re-acclimate to this nasty, stifling weather. We've actually had some decent weather since we've been here, but the last week was not a part of that. This week, we've seen heat indexes in the triple-digit-teens. Yay! Despite not being super happy about being back in the muggy south (no offense, I'm really a desert girl at heart!), it sure is nice to unpack somewhere and know we're going to be there for a while. After three moves in less than two years, knowing we'll be here three years is really a blessing. I've unpacked everything! I'm planning on hanging things on the walls! We're buying living room furniture!! Gasp! It's so exciting.

As for cooking, well, unpacking and getting set up in a new place with an 18 month old running around has kept me from experimenting too much in the kitchen lately. I'm ready to get back into the really fun scratch stuff (although I have already canned some peaches and some rosemary-peach freezer jam; we are in Georgia, after all). The nice thing about scratch cooking is that it doesn't have to be complex or time consuming to make. Take this stew, for instance. It is super fast and full of convenience but is all homemade. Again, it doesn't have to be hard to be wholesome and delicious. We love it around here; I can make it in less than thirty minutes (and I don't have to remember to set anything out to thaw!) and it's a favorite of us all, toddler included! Tonight he ate his entire bowl and quite a bit of mine.

The only warning I'll throw out there is that you really will want to use unsalted stock in this stew because there are so many salty ingredients in it. I typically only add the barest hint of a dash of salt at the end and it is plenty seasoned. Avoiding overly salted soup is one of the main reasons I make my own!

Easy Chicken Chile
Yield: 4 servings

1 tsp oil
1 cup diced onions (about 1 medium)
1 tsp minced garlic (about 1 large clove)
2 small cans mild green chiles, drained (4-4.5 oz each)
4 cups unsalted chicken stock/broth
1 (12.5 oz approx) can chunk chicken, with broth
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup whole milk
6 TBS flour
1 (15 oz) can Cannellini beans
1 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Sweat the onions and garlic until the onions are transluscent. Add the chiles, broth, chicken, and cumin. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the onions are tender. Make a slurry of the milk and flour. Add the mixture to the soup and stir immediately. Continue stirring until the soup thickens. Reduce the heat to warm and add the beans and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and is no longer visible. Serve and enjoy!

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