Last Friday, I had huge baking plans for the weekend. I was going to make panettone, bake cookies, replenish my blog back up with new recipes and photos and get a head start with the cooking and photography for this chilli for the Improv Cooking Challenge this month. I had done the shopping, I was pumped and totally organised.
Saturday morning rolls around and I cannot move. I cannot walk two steps to my bathroom let alone climb down a flight of stairs. UGH! I was so mad. This is the reality of my Rheumatoid Arthritis; stuff like this happens and I have no control. Goes to show that my body has its own mind and what I plan doesn’t always pan out. There is no point in getting frustrated, mad or anything else. I just take it as a day or two days where I do nothing but ice my knee, take pain medicine and watch TV.
So, last Saturday, my youngest daughter took care of me since my husband was working. She made me breakfast, got me lunch, snacks and tea. All the while keeping me company as we watched bad Christmas TV. When my husband came home he ordered pizza for dinner.
Sunday rolled around and I still can’t move. My husband and I had to miss our weekly date at our favourite coffee shop for Sunday coffee. Instead, I lay in bed again and watched football. Dinner was takeaway again.
I didn’t set a foot downstairs the entire weekend. Monday morning, I could hobble a bit so I limped downstairs to pack lunches and get breakfast. Oh, the horror! The state of my kitchen, the family room, the breakfast table! Every knife from my knife block was in the sink along with every spoon and glass! It was horrible. Now, my husband is very good with the dishes and cleaning up for me, but he’s not good with washing up knives, serving spoons and miscellaneous bits and bobs. Those bits and bobs filled my sink. I asked him why my knife block was empty and he claimed that he was having problems cutting the rotisserie chicken and apparently, used every knife to find one that worked! Hmmmmm, rotisserie chicken is usually so tender you don’t even need a knife. Oh, well.
So, this weekend, I went gluten free because this pain in my knee and the more crushing pain of seeing my kitchen in such a state, needs to stop. I have been going a bit overboard with my gluten intake lately and I think it is bringing on the flare ups regularly and more frequently.
I had planned to make this White Chicken Chilli as soon as I found out the Improv Cooking Challenge this month was white chocolate and lime. I did have a short list of dessert ideas too, but a weekend of eating crappy takeout was all the motivation I needed to make a decent dinner for Monday night.
A plus for me is that this chilli is gluten free and absolutely delicious. It, also fulfils the Monday Night Football requirements; chilli, chips and sour cream 🙂
The Improv Cooking Challenge is a monthly challenge hosted by Kristen Baker of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. Every month we’re given two ingredients/combinations and we come up with a recipe that uses both the ingredients. This month it is white chocolate and lime; a wonderful pairing.
This White Chicken Chilli with White Chocolate and Lime is a variation on the Cooks Illustrated white chicken chilli recipe. Of course, you have to pay mega bucks to subscribe to their site to get the recipe and then have the whole day to prepare it the way they want you to. This is easier, has white chocolate and lime and tastes just as good.
Serving size: 8
- 1 4-5 pound/2kg, whole chicken
- 10 cups/2.4L water
- 1 onion, quartered
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- tops of the anaheim and poblano peppers
- shredded chicken
- 6 cups/1.4L broth
- 6 Anaheim peppers, roughly chopped
- 5 Poblano peppers, roughly chopped
- 4 cups/3 cans organic white beans (I used organic northern beans)
- 1 jalapeño, optional
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 4-8 tablespoons white chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 limes
- handful cilantro
- tortilla chips for serving along side
- sour cream for topping
- Start by making the broth for the chilli.
- Place the whole or pieces of chicken in a big pot, cover with water, add the onion, carrots, garlic and pepper tops and bring to boil.
- Cover and simmer until chicken is tender.
- I use my pressure cooker to make the broth, it takes 20 minutes.
- Follow your pressure cooker instructions.
- Once the chicken is cooked, lift out of the broth and allow to cool before deboning.
- Strain the broth and put aside.
- You should have about 8 cups of broth.
- Using a food processor, finely chop the anaheim chiles, poblano chiles and the onions.
- Don't puree, you want some texture.
- Once each of the peppers are chopped, add them to a large pot with the olive oil and sauté.
- Add the garlic and sauté a minute or two, till fragrant.
- Add the cumin and coriander, mix well.
- You want the peppers and onion soft but not browned.
- Add 6 cups of broth and bring to a simmer.
- Add the beans and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Take out 2 cups of the mixture and puree, carefully, in the food processor.
- Add back into the chilli to thicken a bit.
- Add the shredded chicken and heat through.
- Add more broth or water if needed to loosen up the chilli (I usually add another cup or so of broth)
- Check for salt and spice and season accordingly.
- You can add the jalapeño if you don't feel the chilli is hot enough or add hot sauce on the side.
- Start by adding 4 tablespoons of the white chocolate chips.
- Stir them through and allow them to melt and blend in.
- Check the sweetness.
- If you don't taste it, add by tablespoons until it suits you.
- I added the whole 8 tablespoons and it had a nice hint of sweet flavour.
- Turn off the heat and then add the juice of 3 limes.
- Add the chopped cilantro and mix through.
- Taste to see if the balance of sweet and tart is to your liking.
- You don't need to add too much lime juice to the pot but allow extra lime to be served along side.
- The lime juice is more effective added right before eating.
- Serve in bowls with extra lime, a dollop of sour cream, extra cilantro and tortilla chips for dipping and crushing into the chilli.
Only a few more days till Christmas! Hope you guys are all ready. I am going to be hosting a dinner, not a Christmas celebration, probably more like Festivus 🙂 , for my friend’s family. It is also a bit of a bittersweet holiday for me this year because my nephew is getting married and I won’t be there 🙁 . I was 15 when he was born and I would get up when he would cry, always in the dead of night, and fetch him for my sister so she could nurse him. He would then fall asleep with me. I am very close to both my nephews and I am beyond thrilled for his big day but very sad I won’t be there. But he called me yesterday before heading off to Pakistan for his wedding and it took everything I had to not break down on the phone. Tears will pour come Monday when he is officially married.
Please check out my fellow Challengers below and their delicious contributions.
I would like to wish all my readers and friends a very Happy Christmas! I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends and may all the blessings of this season be with you all.