Every January, Seattle goes from being cold and grey to being bitterly cold, kind of grey, and a tiny bit snowy. Our perfectly temperate climate goes from being a consistent 65 degrees to an absolutely unbearable 39 degrees. The entire city lives in fear that mist might turn to drizzle, which might turn to sleet, which might turn into <gasp> snow. Even the sunny, cold days inspire terror in the hearts of Seattleites. Even the threat of snow is enough to shut the city down – last year’s snowpocalypse didn’t even occur before the University of Washington closed its campus for two consecutive days. I sat in my apartment, looking at the blue sky and bare ground wondering if the cancellation of school was an elaborate, early April Fool’s Joke.
When the weather becomes undesirable (i.e.: anything outside of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit), everyone goes a little nuts. In years past, I have been known to call into work sick on 80 degree days because it was “too hot” to do anything productive. I’ve also been known to use Bulleit Bourbon as a precautionary measure against excessive cold on most snow days our city has seen in the past five years (don’t worry, it’s only been about 4 days total). This year, when our local weatherman told me that we were “likely” to see “snow flurries” because of an “area of mixed pressure” off of the Pacific Coast, I decided to try out a new strategy: chili and donuts. You heard me right: I’m going for comfort food (instead of comfort booze) this January. After testing out this chili, I think I made the right call.
White Chicken Chili
2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 c. yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 – 4 oz. cans green chiles, undrained
1 c. water
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (skin can be intact or not)
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (I used Paleo sriracha)
Optional: 1/2 c. fresh cilantro and 1/2 c. chopped green onions, for garnish)
1) Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through
2) Add onion and garlic to the pan, sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in sweet potatoes and all spices, mixing well for 1 minute. Stir in chiles, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minute, partially covered. Add water and broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes before stirring in hot sauce. Allow to cook uncovered for another 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes have softened.
3) To serve, ladle into bowls and top with cilantro and green onions, if using
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 bowls of belly-warming chili