Wow! I can’t believe a season actually caught up with the calendar on time. The fall equinox (for those of us up here in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) occurred about three weeks ago. Usually the weather stays warm for a couple of weeks, but BAM! Almost immediately the temperatures dropped from the upper 90s to the cozy 70s. Figures that just as I get my AC fixed the weather would turn and a new HVAC issue with the heating pops up. Oh dear.
Oh, but lovely fall! It’s my favorite season. I love the cool, but still comfortable weather, the cozy scent given off by the wood burning fireplaces of the older neighborhoods down the hill from me. Hay rides, bonfires, and trips to the apple orchards and pumpkin patches are always on my calendar. And of course I can’t forget how everything becomes pumpkin flavored and scented and how kitchens begin smelling of warm spices from chili to cinnamon. Or maybe I just like fall so much because I’m a fall baby.
Anyway, I definitely was not prepared for this sudden chill. My closet still full of summer clothes (I just returned from Florida to boot!), I thought a cardigan and closed toe pumps would suffice…until I stepped out into the 40° morning. Brrrr! At least no one looks at me funny now when I order my 185° lattes?
With the drop in temperature, it is no wonder I succumbed to fall’s siren call for a piping hot pot of chili. I went for a white chili for this first batch since I was craving something creamy. I actually created this recipe last year, making it for my former team-mates as a thank-you for the wonderful going away events (bowling and beer…they know I love being active) and presents they gave me (a Starbucks Verismo complete with pods and syrups…they know I love my lattes) before I transferred to my current office. Boy did it go fast!
It’ll probably disappear fast from your tables, too! It has all the right fall stuff after all: warm spices with just enough heat, soothing creaminess to offset the heat, and filling late summer and early fall veggies, most of which you can still find at the farmer’s market.
Aren’t you imagining curling up with a blanket or finding a seat by the fire with a bowl of this warm and comfy meal? I know I am!
Jalapeño Popper White Chicken Chili
- 1 lb cooked chicken breast, shredded
- 1 15-16 ounce can of Great Northern beans (or Cannelini)
- 1 15-16 ounce can of sweet corn
- 1 10 ounce can mild rotel style tomatoes
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 dry pint, about 6 large, tomatillos quartered
- 3 large jalapeños, diced finely and seeded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounce package of light cream cheese
- Homemade ranch dressing mix
- 8 ounce envelope of powdered buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon onion power
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon freeze dried chives
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped cilantro + more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + a pinch
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Heat a large, heavy pot (I use my Dutch oven) over medium heat and melt butter. Once butter is melted add and saute onions and jalapenos until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Pour broth into pan then add Great Northern Beans, sweet corn, rotel tomatoes, tomatillos, and all the spices into the pot. Stir to mix. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally.
- If making your own ranch dressing mix, while chili is coming to a boil blend all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Once chili comes to a low boil, stir in ranch dressing mix until blended.
- Add cream cheese to the pot, stirring constantly to melt and blend into the chili
- Once cream cheese has melted, add your spices to the pot, stirring to blend into the chili.
- Add the shredded chicken, lime juice, and cilantro. Stir to mix and bring to a low boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer chili for 10-15 minutes.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. If chili is too spicy, adding additional cream cheese or heavy cream will help. I recommend adding the additional dairy in one tablespoon increments. If the chili is too acidic, add sugar in one teaspoon increments.
- Serve with your favorite chili accompaniments such as tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, crumbled bacon, etc.
Leftovers freeze very well!