Prize Winning Chili (Almost)

I love gathering up recipes from trusted sources. Sometimes though, when someone is a really good cook, they can’t even put a recipe down on paper because it’s all in their head, and they just throw things in without really measuring. Don’t you hate that? I admit, I have a few recipes that I am that way about. Like my home-made bread. Word got out that my bread was pretty tasty so people started asking for the recipe and I was stumped. I had to go in the kitchen, stand in front of the Bosch mixer (an appliance I couldn’t live without) and force myself to create an actual measurement. It was strangely disconcerting. Hopefully it has worked out for all those that ended up with it.

So, here I am with requests to share another recipe and it’s one that ‘Once, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…’ I had an actual copy of the recipe. Now I just throw things in and make it taste good.  And somehow, it always does. At least, we hardly ever end up with left-overs. Many thanks to Jennifer who shared the recipe with me and is one of my favorite people.

This is a recipe that ALMOST won first place at Joe’s work when they had a competition for the best Chili. He asked me to make my White Chili recipe. It had become a family favorite and he was confident it could compete with the best.

So, early one morning I woke up to get it ready for him to carry it off to work. I waited all day in anticipation. I can’t even remember what the prize was, I just wanted to know how it stacked up to other varieties. You can tell by it’s name that it’s very different.

He walked in the door that evening, carrying the empty pot in one hand and a small box in the other. He said, “It was so close! It came down to this and one other chili that was really bold and made with sausage.” My White Chili missed it by one vote but Joe said they deliberated long and it was a tough decision.

Second prize was a man’s watch, no Rolex but no Timex either. still nice. Joe doesn’t wear a watch, it irritates his skin, so if I remember right we gave it to my Dad, and he loved it (or at least, he said he did).

Grayson cooking tortilla chips


2 tsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic
4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
2 (4 oz) cans green chiles, chopped (sometimes I add more)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
Chipotle seasoning, to taste (this was my secret ingredient)
5 (14.5 oz) cans great northern beans, undrained (or sometimes I make my own in  the pressure cooker)
2 cups sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Fresh chopped tomatoes, avocados, cilantro for garnish
Corn tortilla chips to serve on the side (sometimes I have Grayson cut up fresh corn tortillas and fry them up-so authentic tasting)

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute until tender. Add chicken, chicken broth, green chiles, cumin and oregano. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. Add beans. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream.

Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle with cheese, tomato, avocado and cilantro. I like it spicy so I’ll usually pour some Cholula or Tapatillo sauce on top. Whatever I have on hand.

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