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Thursday, January 8, 2009

White Bean and Hominy Chicken Chili

My large enormously heavy flame-orange enameled cast-iron Le Creuset pot is getting a workout these days. I’ve entered huddle mode. That is, I’m not doing much beyond huddling around steaming pots of soup, stew and chili. January in Minnesota will do that to you.

I’ve made three pots of soup in the last 2 ½ days with more on the way. Soups and chilies are my way of fighting the cold weather, the bad economic news and the latest world crisis. Tensions fade when you tuck into a warming bowl. Plus, having a stockpile of soup in the freezer may soon end up being worth more than stock certificates, if the latest Wall Street news is any indication.

Last night we sunk our spoons into White Bean and Hominy Chicken Chili. It’s a simple chili, basic but stick-to-the-ribs hearty. Best of all for those of us trying to take off holiday pounds, it’s low in calories—only 190 calories per serving. Perfect!

White Bean and Hominy Chicken Chili
Print This Recipe

Adding toppings is half the fun of eating chili. So pile on the chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, chopped serrano chiles and diced tomatoes. (For those of you lucky enough not to be counting calories go for the cheese, sour cream, avocados and chips—just don’t let the rest of us see you.)

If you’ve never used hominy before you’re in for a pleasant surprise. You can find it in the canned bean or vegetable section of the grocery store. It’s made from dried corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. The canned version is ready to use. You’ll find the flavor of the chewy tender kernels reminiscent of corn tortillas.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15.6 oz.) can Great Northern or navy beans, undrained
1 (15.5 oz.) can white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz.) can lower-sodium chicken broth
2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken breast

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and swirl to lightly film the bottom of the pot. Add the onions and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they are just starting to soften. Stir in the shallots and cook for 1 minute then add the garlic and cook for about 15 to 30 seconds or until the garlic just starts to smell great.

At this point, stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low or low and gently simmer, stirring every now and then, for about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook another 15 minutes or until the flavors have blended.

5 (generous 1 ½ cup) servings
About 190 calories/serving

Copyright Janice Cole 2009


  1. Hey - isn't that Grandma Salamandyk's orange pot??? I loved that thing. But I bet it's one of your own.

    The soup looks yummy and I will try it. I'm making my own batches of vegetable soup and taco soup this week for eating and freezing. They are both great for the ever-expanding, after-holiday, girth that has befallen me!!

    Love you!

  2. Hi Kristin,
    Yes, the pot is just like hers, glad it kindles memories. I purchased mine years ago. It used to be the only color Le Creuset came in. Now it comes in a beautiful range of colors, but I still love that highway-worker orange!



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