Wednesday, October 19, 2011

White Chili

White Chili
Dorcas Annette Walker

Every day I look outside and see the colors intensifying on the tree leaves. Soon they will reach their peak. Sunny days with cool breezes surrounded by many autumn shades enchant me until I can hardly stay indoors. Like a squirrel hoarding nuts up for the winter season, I want to soak up every bit of this delightful weather possible. Clothes hung out on the line dry quickly even when the temperature doesn’t get high. There is something invigorating about battling the wind while pinning wash to a clothesline and seeing clean clothes whip around in breezy gusts. Even the hens in the chicken yard squawk and do a two-step dance as the wind ruffles their feathers giving them a fall dusting while colorful leaves float down to the ground all around.

One such delightful day this past week found me outdoors burying spring bulbs in different spots reminding me of Lady, my golden German shepherd, who will scratch around in the leaves until she makes a spot to hide a bone or choice morsel for later instead of eating it right away. Digging in the dirt gives time for contemplation. I’ve discovered that planting bulbs is like planting seeds. It’s really a matter of faith putting brown dead-looking bulbs in the ground, forgotten during long winter months, trusting that a resurrection will occur next spring and turn something lifeless into beautiful flowers like those photographed on the labels that entice people into buying them.

Autumn weather also brings rainy weather, damp days, and cold nights where the only good place to be is close by a warm stove. I keep plenty of dry wood on hand and keep my wood stoves cleaned out. Already I have kept fires burning several times savoring the smell of the crackling wood that keeps my house warm and cozy. Fall also means the start of watching tendrils of smoke curling out of the chimney until they disappear into the atmosphere leaving behind the scent of wood smoke that wraps around one like the comfort of an old quilt. This past week during a cold spell I made up a pot of White Chili.

I became intrigued the first time I spotted a recipe for White Chili awhile back and have checked out different recipes before trying it myself. White Chili can be made as simple or exotic as you like. Some add oregano, garlic, green chilies, cumin, green peppers, cayenne peppers, and even jalapeno peppers to spice things up or sour cream to enrich the broth. My White Chili is a milder version. However you prepare your White Chili it is an ideal way to use up leftover chicken or turkey. Preparation time for my White Chili is twenty-five minutes and this recipe serves eight.

White Chili

2 c chopped chicken/turkey
2 (15 oz) cans of white Northern/kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can of creamed corn
1 (11 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 tb dried minced onion
1 tb dried parsley
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

In a large saucepan mix together the chicken, beans, corn, and soup (adding one soup can of hot water). Then stir in the onion, parsley, chili powder adding salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Serve hot with shredded cheese, nacho chips, or sour cream!

Weekly tip: Doing up extra chicken or turkey when preparing a meal is a great way to have instant leftovers later for quick use in soups and salads by chopping up the cooled meat, putting it in sealed bags or containers, labeling, and freezing !

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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