Oh my Lord was this good. SO SO SO good.
So rewind a few years…Sue moves to Colorado. Sue orders chili cheese fries at bar while watching the MSU game (go green). The plate arrives with some nasty looking, weird green sauce. What the hell? Apparently in Colorado the chili is green, and only green. Red chili is really hard to come by; especially when we are talking chili cheese fries (all you Detroit readers out there, please send me some coney chili). Well…..fast forward back to now, it turns out that green stuff has grown on me. They serve it on breakfast burritos, tamales, in bowls…yum. Now, just like any other “chili” recipe there are about a million and one ways to make it, I made this one as kind of a compilation of all the things I love about all the green chilis I have tasted.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced (or pressed)
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lb (or up to 1.5 lb) of chicken cubed
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 loose Tbs Mexican oregano, crushed (see notes)
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
7 oz can of green chiles
2 (15 oz) cans northern white beans, drained (optional)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (optional)
2 tomatillos diced (or more if you want)
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbs corn flour (or regular flour, or cornmeal)
Dice up onions, garlic and jalapenos.
Add the olive oil to a large pot (I like to use an enameled dutch oven for soup making). Over medium heat sauté the onions and garlic until softened. Add diced jalapeno and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
While the vegetables cook, dice the chicken up, salt pepper it liberally (you know how I feel about under seasoned meat). Cook until all the chicken is white, add the spices, cook for about 1 minute until they are lightly toasted. Add the chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, and tomatillos.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least an hour until the liquid has reduced. About 11 minutes before serving whisk together the milk and the corn flour. Pour the mixture slowly into the soup while stirring. Allow to thicken and cook for about 10 more minutes (you can cook it longer, it won’t hurt it).
Serve topped with tortilla strips and chopped cilantro.
If I used stupid phrases like “nom nom” I would use it for this.
A few notes:
Mexican oregano is different than Italian oregano. Italian oregano is from the mint family while Mexican oregano comes from the same family as lemon verbena. Italian oregano has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor, while Mexican oregano has a similar peppery flavor but has notes of citrus in it and a slight licorice flavor. While you can use either, I would highly recommend buying some Mexican oregano. Mexican oregano is also a slightly different texture, it is coarser. Fill a tablespoon and then crush it in the palm of your hand before you add it to the chili. If you use Italian in this recipe, cut the amount to 1 tsp.
You can use chicken or pork in this recipe. Pork green chili is far more popular, but I like chicken. I also think that chicken tends to be easier to cook in soups/stews; pork can be tough if it’s not cooked properly. If you decide to use pork, I would recommend using a pork shoulder. Braise it and shred it and then add it to the stew when you add the broth. You could also omit the meat completely and make this vegetarian green chili.
The beans, tomatoes, and tomatillos are all optional. I like these things in green chili, everyone has their own version of this….but beans are good for you, so you should just make it my way.