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White Chili (11/5/08)

Alright, as promised, here’s that White Chili recipe. Now, this recipe comes with strings. First, it was passed along, and modified, from a dear lady I used to work with at Lynchburg College when I was earning my teaching certification: we’ll call her Ms. Betty. Ms. Betty was terrifying. She was one of those people who made me feel like I felt I could never do anything right under her supervision. In retrospect, she was probably just plumb sick of her job and I was the only available schmuck to take it out on.
She would tell me to do something (now mind you, I was a college sophomore in the early nineties, studying English–thing weren’t like they are now in the computer age we live in) such as “set up that spreadsheet for the undergraduates in the math discipline and run an envelope task. And I need that in thirty minutes.” While I sat staring blindly at the computer screen, pleading with the screen for direction, hands poised numbly above the keys (because I sort of don’t like to admit when I don’t know something) she would say, a note of impatient smugness in her voice, “oh, do I need to show you how to do this?”
But then we had the picnic, which moved us forward in two ways. One: it indicated that I would be remaining through the summer, which meant she probably ought to stop picking on me and get over herself. Two: she made a pretty interesting dish that I had never tasted before, and despite my aversion to getting picked on, I liked it and I told her so. So she brought me the recipe.
So, the first string is a friendship string. This is a great recipe for gathering people together and sharing, and I have no objection to you doing just that, but you have to put my name on it, because it is my recipe.
Since the recipe was straight out of a cookbook, I did what I always do with recipes straight out of cookbooks, I tinkered until it was mine. Cut a little of this, added a little of this…I can officially say that this is Lori’s White Chili. The other string is that this recipe earned the North Bedford Baptist Church’s 2007 Chili Cook-Off Award…so you are not allowed to enter it into any chili contests, people! It’s mine! (I’m just a little territorial…)
So, here it is. Enjoy it, and many more recipes to come. They’ll no doubt come with strings too. 🙂

Lori’s White Chili
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
32 oz salsa
16 oz monterey jack cheese with jalapeno
3 tsp cumin
2 15-oz cans great white northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of chicken broth
reserved broth from boiling chicken
onion salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together, stirring well until cheese has melted. Add reserved broth as needed to thin the chili to your taste. If you want more flavor, substitute additional cans of chicken broth for the reserved broth–it tends to be a little saltier and more flavorful than the reserved broth. I usually end up using 1-2 cans of additional reserved broth. Once cheese is fully melted, simmer on low for around 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent any scorching. Serve with corn bread/muffins. This will serve around eight individuals.
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