Saturday, September 13, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Chili Verde

The crockpot is my best friend this week!  I've gone ahead and and gave up trying to cook at the most chaotic time of the day.  Especially during these first weeks of September - when we are all finding our new normal with the start of the semester for my husband and I, and the start of school for my oldest.  Its even an adjustment for my little one who doesn't have her big brother home with her every day.   Instead, she's been helping me make dinner each morning - she does love that she doesn't have to take turns using the measuring cups with her brother.  Ha!

So this chili...I love traditional chili, and I love tortillas soup.  This is sort of combining the both of those together.  You might see it as white chicken chili on a menu (because its using white beans instead of red) or you might see it as chili verde because of the green broth base.  Either way, it's delicious!!!  And completely nutritious too!  I added some shredded carrots and lots of baby spinach to boost the veggie factor.  The kids won't even notice the vegetables in there because its so good.  Its truly a one pot, fix-it-and-forget-it meal that the whole family will love!

By the way, if you are worried that your kids won't like it, sell it as something familiar - something they like.  For example, I tell my kids that it's chicken taco soup because they LOVE tacos and it has all of those familiar flavors.  Call it whatever you have to to get them to try it and never look back.  It doesn't hurt that they get to decorate their own soup with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, and avocado (if they like that stuff too).   The cheese and chips are a big hit with my kids!

So let me know if you give this a try!  I would love your feedback. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
Crockpot Chicken Chili Verde
my version was based on 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3, but kept one of them out after shredding it all up...I wanted extra shredded chicken for chicken salad)
2 -15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 large carrots, shredded
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T chili powder
½ tsp salt
½-1 tsp red chili flakes (depending on your heat preference)
***please note:  if you like it spicy, you can add 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced - I didn't not use one because I have young children and I wanted them to eat the soup too
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
4 heaping cups of baby spinach
crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, shredded cheddar, and cilantro for topping 
Place everything in the crockpot except for the spinach (no spinach yet!!!) and cook on low for 6 hours (you can cook it for up to 8 hours if you won't be home).  It's so easy, even a toddler can do it! 
And after!
Take out the chicken and set aside.  Meanwhile, using an immersion blender, blend some of the chili to thicken it up, but be careful to leave some chunky.  You want the right consistency.  If you don't have an immersion blender, just place 1 cup of the beans into a regular blender until smooth and add it back to the chili.  (It's totally fine if the onions and chilies are in there too...its the ratio of blended to non blended that's important). 
Now, take the chicken breast and shred them with a fork.  Add the chicken back to the chili along with the baby spinach. 

Cook on high for an additional 30 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.  You can taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  
Serve immediately topped with your favorites!  Enjoy!  

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