Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Southwest White Chicken Chili

By Paul Briand

Just one more chili recipe then I’ll back off this riff I started last week.

I stumbled onto this one while reading Parade magazine in my Sunday newspaper. The recipe was part of an ad for Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup.

My biggest problem with can of soup recipes is that canned soup has way too much sodium.

Campbell’s and others are trying to introduce products with less salt and with less fat, and good for them.

The cream of chicken soup in this recipe comes in the low-fat version, which I did find on my grocer’s shelf.

A couple of other notes: I added roasted red peppers and some red kidney beans to give the dish more color. Yes, there is “white” in the recipe name but it was a little too pale for my liking..

You can find this and other Campbell soup recipes at

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound), cut into cubes
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
2 cans (about 15 ounces each) white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat;
2. Add the chicken, chili powder, cumin, onion and pepper and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, stirring often;
3. Stir the soup, water, corn and beans in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low;
4. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally;
5. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Italian Chili One-Pot

By Paul Briand

Can you have too many recipes for chili?

I say no.

Chili, for me, is one of those comfort foods I will return to time and again, and in my book it's OK to tweak a favorite recipe or even create a stockpile of different recipes.

I think the same is true for spaghetti sauce and for meatloaf.

This Italian version on the theme is from one of my tried-and-trues, Rachael Ray.

A couple of note on my approach to this recipe. I didn't use the chili peppers out of respect for my wife, Jane, who is slowly warming up to spicier food. And the 3 cups of stock called for in Ray's recipe seemed like a lot as I was cooking. I used maybe a little more than a cup.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, diced, optional
About 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, a scant palmful
2 pounds ground beef or ground pork or beef and pork combined
Salt and pepper
2 red cherry chili peppers or red Fresno chili peppers, sliced or seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
About 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28-ounce can cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry wine, red or white or 1 cup Italian beer
3 cups beef stock for beef-only chili or chicken stock for pork chili or beef and pork combined
Optional Accompaniments:
Shredded provolone cheese
Shredded basil
Finely chopped raw onion

1. Heat the oil in pot over medium-high heat;
2. Add pancetta, if using, brown to crisp then add fennel seeds;
3. Add meat, brown and crumble, and season with salt and pepper;
4. Once the meat is browned well, add chili peppers, onions, garlic, fresh or dried oregano and cook until onions are translucent, 8-10 minutes more;
5. Add beans and stir in tomato paste. Cook 1 minute until fragrant, then add wine or beer;
6. Let the liquid cook down then stir in stock. Simmer to combine flavors;
7. Serve in bowls topped with cheese and basil or chopped onion.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lemon Chicken

By Paul Briand

Here's another recipe from Penzeys Spices, which I introduced last week from my recent holiday travels that included a stay in Richmond, VA.

This is a very quick, very simple dish that yields a lot of flavor.

2 6-ounce chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, one for juice, one sliced for garnish
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter

1. In a wide shallow dish or bowl, combine the flour, pepper and paprika. Lightly dredge the chicken in the mixture and shake off excess;
2. In a large skillet with the oil over medium-high heat, saute the chicken until brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to serving platter;
3. Add the broth (or stock) and juice of a lemon to the skillet and reduce the sauce by half, about 5 minutes;
4. Stir in parsley and butter;
5. When butter has melted, pour the sauce over the chicken, garish with lemon slices and serve.

The recipe is easily doubled or tripled, depending on the size of the crowd you want to feed.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beef and Broccoli

By Paul Briand

As part of our holiday travels, my wife Jane and I visited Jane's daughter in Richmond, VA, and during a walking tour of one of the neighborhoods we stepped into a Penzeys Spices shop.

I hadn't heard of the store, but there are shops throughout the country, according to the web site.

What I liked about the store was the aroma. You can imagine that a spice shop would be an assault on the sense of smell, but it wasn't overwhelming. Frankly, it made me hungry.

The other thing I liked about the store was the offer of all kinds of recipes to go along with various spices from Penzeys, including some unique blends for specific purposes. This recipe, for example, called for Chicago Steak Seasoning from Penzeys.

I helped myself to the recipes, but didn't buy any spice. I really had enough of what I need in my pantry. So I adapted the recipe without the Penzeys spice.

2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons of a base Italian dressing of vinegar and oil
1 teaspoons garlic powder
3 cups spinach
3 cups mixed greens
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 pound sirloin steak
Pepper, salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups chopped broccoli

1. Put the soy sauce, rice vinegar canola oil, vinegar/oil, and garlic in a cruet or jar with a lid. Shake well and set aside;
2. In a large salad bowl, toss the spinach, mixed greens, pepper and carrot with the dressing (saving 2 tablespoons). Place on a large platter;
3. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cut into thin slices;
4. Add olive oil to a wok or large saucepan to high heat and, when oil it hot, add the steak and cook for 3 minutes until brown, stirring regularly;
5. Add the broccoli and the remaining dressing and cook for 2 or 3 minutes;
6. Top the greens with the prepared beef and broccoli. Serves four.

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