White Bean Chicken Chili

I think I need to start off this post with the fact that I love Giada de Laurentiis.  For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, she is a cute little Italian chef on Food Network and I have never made a recipe of hers that I did not like.  Today I wanted to share with you all one of my favorites that I made this past weekend, especially since it is a warm comfort food for this time of the year (finals for some + the holidays).  If you are someone who couldn’t imagine having chili without beef, I challenge you to give it a try.  While beef is perfectly fine to have in moderation, chicken is a leaner cut of protein that provides a greater ratio of the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to saturated fat.  I also love this recipe because of the power of the spices… if you don’t own a spice rack, go and get one, now.  Right now!  It will give you the chance to add tons of flavor to your food with no added calories or fat.  Enjoy :)


Giada’s White Bean Chicken Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 pounds ground chicken (I only used 1.5lb)

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning

2 tablespoons ground cumin (I only used 1 tbsp due to the cost of cumin and it still tasted great)

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons chili powder (I don’t like too much heat so I only used 1.5 tsp)

3 tablespoons flour

2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces*

11/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

*If you are unfamiliar with swiss chard, is it a leafy vegetable you can find in the produce section.  If it’s not available, you can use spinach or another leafy green that you prefer.  When chopping it up, you need to discard the white or pink (depending on the type you by) ribbing in the middle of the leaf.  Just use a knife to cut around it, saving the leafy greens for the recipe.  1lb may seem like a lot but it wilts down to 1/4 of the size when cooking.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.


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