The weather continues to be unusually warm for February. But it is still the time of year for warm and filling “comfort foods.” I made Paula and I some chili tonight. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili was a recipe that I found last fall in one of our Cooking Light magazines. I just never got around to making it. It was quite good and it made enough for both of us to enjoy it twice. What caught my attention to the recipe was the use of cannellini beans and hominy. Both of them work great in stews, chili and other hearty dishes.

Here is what you will need if you want to make it…

  • 3 (15-oz.) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 (25-oz.) can hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups peeled cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 1 (5-oz.) can diced green chiles, drained and divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, divided (optional)
  • 2 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)

Start by putting one of the cans of beans in a mini food processor and processing them until smooth. Place the bean puree along with the remaining 2 cans of beans, the hominy, and the next 8 ingredients (chicken broth through oregano) in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the green chiles. Add the remaining green chiles to the cooker. Top with the chicken thighs. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 hours (all day long!)

When the chili is done, place the chicken on a cutting board. Let the pieces cool for 5 minutes and then shred the chicken. Stir back into the chili. Cover and keep warm.

If you are serving this to company, you can process the reserved 1 tablespoon green chiles, yogurt, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in a mini food processor until smooth (or just add the chiles to the chili as I did.)

Again, if you are serving to guests, place the chili in bowls. Top evenly with some yogurt or sour cream. Put the cilantro, cheese, green onions, and jalapeño in small bowls for guests to use as they wish.

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