One of my favorite parts of the winter months is cooking soups and stews for the family. There is just something so comforting about sitting down to a bowl of steaming hot soup full of fresh veggies and loaded with flavor especially on a chilly, rainy day.
Last weekend I was really wanting something different, so I began experimenting a little with flavors. What I came up with was a crazy delicious chicken chili that was quite a hit with the family. It’s a good thing we enjoyed it earlier in the week because these 70 degree temperatures in South Carolina over the next several days will quickly squash my desire for soup!
1 pound dried Navy Beans
5 large chicken breast
6 quarts chicken broth
2 cups frozen gold & white corn
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
1/3- 1/2 cup chili powder, start small & add to suit your taste
3 (or more) Tablespoons dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
chicken broth (make your own, instructions in post)
salt to taste
fresh cilantro for garnish
Before beginning your soup, soak your died Navy beans in water 2-3 hours, drain, and put on to boil for about an hour and a half, completely covering with water & adding 1 Tablespoon salt. Check your beans for tenderness & drain, reserving 2 cups of the water you cooked them in.
In a large stock pot, put on the five chicken breasts to stew, adding about 6 1/2 quarts of water. Add a Tablespoon of salt to the water. Boil about 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked though. Remove the chicken and reserve the broth, skimming the fat from the top (there shouldn’t be hardly any at all).
Chop or shred the chicken into small bites and return to your large stockpot with the chicken broth. Add the Navy beans (with their reserved cooking water), corn, onion, celery, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin & oregano.
Simmer 45 minutes to allow the flavors to mesh, adjust your seasoning to fit your taste (I like mine spicy!)
I prefer to make my soup from scratch to keep it clean, low-sodium, and low-fat.
But, you can use shortcuts like canned beans, packaged chicken broth and starting with a rotisserie chicken for those nights you need a really quick meal. This is also a great recipe to prep over the weekend before and pour into the crock-pot (on low) for a quick meal later in the week.
This recipe should serve ten.