White Chicken Chili

Whenever the temperature drops below 70 degrees, or sometimes when the mood hits, Tonya announces ‘It’s time for chili!’.   Seriously, I think it was late August or early September when the weather cooled down just a little bit and sure enough, it was Chili Time!  She really loves those beans.  Tonya would be happy to have chili that’s just beans boiled in a pot but then that would be just “beans boiled in a pot”, so she adds the meat for the family….and she would eat if for all 3 meals!  Except that would be weird…or would it?

Tonya makes a great regular chili with  dark red kidney beans and meat, and the chili has enough spiciness to call it chili but she 012will crank up the heat if it’s just for us and we don’t expect company.  I like to be liberal with the hot sauce and jalapenos but it’s great the way it is.  Since we generally have chili a least once or twice a month from Labor Day to Memorial Day (and sometimes during the summer months…yep)  it’s a good idea to alter the recipe and ingredients every once in awhile.

One of the results is chili with chicken and white beans, aka White Chicken Chili.  She has perfected this recipe and it’s become a family favorite, even placing 2nd in our church chili cook-off (should have come in 1st place but the contest was rigged…c’mon fellow church members! White Chicken Chili is chili, it’s just a different color…)008

The concept is simple:  substitute white (cannelloni) beans for the kidney beans and use chicken instead of ground beef or sausage.  There you go!  There is still chili powder and other spices in the mix but a lot of the flavor comes from green salsa and/or green chilies.  Oh yeah, and there is whipping cream.  Say it with me:  ‘Yum…whipping cream’.  And the recipe is pretty easy.  In fact I have made it as well and the results were well received!

White Chicken Chili

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cans cannelloni beans004

3 cups chicken broth

1 tsp hot sauce

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 small cans diced green chilies

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked & diced (approximately 2 cups)

1 cup half & half

Salt/white pepper to taste

Toppings:  Monterey jack cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. 

Add cannelloni beans, chicken broth, hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, green chilies, and diced chicken and stir until combined.  Bring to a low boil and continue to simmer approximately 35-40 minutes.  Stir in half & half.  Serve with Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

I really enjoyeIMG_3690d my local (Nashville, TN) Jackalope Brewing Company’s Rompo Red Rye Ale with the White Chicken Chili.  Not only does Red go with White, but The Rompo is a smooth beer with it’s own slight spiciness that doesn’t over-power the chili.  Basically, beer just goes great with chili. (click on the paragraph and romp over to Jackalope’s web page)



Eggs and Sausage Strata

For about a decade now one of our family food traditions is to have Eggs and Sausage Strata on Christmas morning.  Since our daughter is now a teenager we are usually up earlier than she is, even on Christmas morning, so that gives us plenty of time to start brewing some Jamaican coffee and put our strata in the oven that was prepared the night before.IMG_3608

If you didn’t know, strata is a fancy word for a layered casserole but this is NOT one of those casseroles that contains green beans, condensed soup and those weird crunchy onion things on top. One of the main ingredients is bread, so you could look at it like eating an open-faced sandwich that is cooked in a baking dish!  Add some hot sauce on your portion while washing it down with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk as you take a break from gift opening.  Wunderbar!!!

The strata is also fantastic served at brunch along with fruit salad or at any time during the year.  I would go as far to say the leftovers are great for dinner or when your tired of the holiday ham!

Egg and Sausage Strata

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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6 slices of favorite bread, crust removed, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 pound ground pork sausage, browned and drained

1 tsp dry mustard009

1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

6 eggs

2 c half & half

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly spray 13×9 casserole dish.  Place bread in casserole.  Toss dry mustard with sausage.  Spoon over bread cubes.  Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of sausage.  Whisk eggs and half & half, Worcestershire sauce, and salt together.  Pour over bread/sausage/cheese.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until set.  (It is fine to make this casserole the night before but not bake; refrigerate and bake off in the morning.) 


Now, I’m not advocating starting Christmas morning with a beer BUT IFIMG_3612 I
WAS…and I’m not…I would think this particular brew would go great with the Eggs and Sausage Strata.  In fact, my son-in-law did surprise me with a bottle for Christmas which we did sample later during the day.  It’s one the Rouge Ales out of Newport, OR code name Sriracha Hot Stout and it leaves a subtle burn in your throat on the way down. (As always, click on this paragraph to send you spiraling through the world wide web to Rouge Ale’s website)