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Before leaving the U.S. last week to head back to Singapore, I stocked up on some Mexican necessities. Big bag of fresh jalapenos: check. And haberneros. Ditto the tomatillos. Oh, and about six cans of chipotle chilies. After all of my shopping, which also included a bunch of dried sausages from Little Italy, bags of assorted spices from Kalustyan's, and a truckload of chocolate, I had to leave clothes behind so that I could stuff it all in. I cannot say that I was surprised when I found a TSA notice laying on top of my loot as soon as I unzipped it when I got home (I'm guessing the bags of za'atar made them nervous).
With all this booty I was itching to cook with the chipotles. I also had some frozen turkey stock that needed to come out of my freezer, so I decided to simmer up a version of a white chicken chili. And with jet lag still lurking about, I wanted it to come together quickly so I that didn't doze off into the pot. Using ground chicken and canned beans were the keys to making that happen.
For the heat, I made use of each of my precious peppers: jalapeno, chipotle, and cayenne. The chili ended up being slightly brothier than your average chili, which is refreshing, but I still added some corn and crunchy tortilla chips to bulk it up. To complete the dish, I threw on some fresh cilantro and creamy avocado, which thankfully, are everywhere.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.