Friday, March 7, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Chicken and White Bean Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings

This recipe is a modification of one that I found for White Chicken Chili with Cornbread Dumplings.  So many recipes have way too much salt for my taste, so I almost always modify them to reduce the sodium content.  This chili is absolutely delicious (probably my second favorite after the Italian Black Bean Chili I have been making for years) even with a significantly reduced salt load.  I think it has something to do with the Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning I substituted for the sodium-laden taco seasoning in the original recipe.  In fact, I may be using that fantastic blend instead of my usual chili powder in all of my chili recipes from now on!

Chicken and White Bean Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings

1 T. oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. chicken stock or broth
1 C. water
1 lb. chicken tenders
1 T. Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning blend
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (15 oz.) large white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) no-salt corn, undrained
1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles, drained
1 box (8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix
1/4 C. sliced scallions
1 egg
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese

Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, about five minutes.  Add the garlic and cook one minute longer.  Add the stock, water, and chicken and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook 15-20 minutes until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it (you can use two forks or a food processor, but I just let it cool a little and used my hands).  Add the beans, undrained corn, soup, and chiles to the stock pot.  Stir in the chicken.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat while making the dumplings.

In a medium bowl, combine the corn muffin mix, scallions, egg, sour cream, and cheese.  Mix well until a stiff dough forms.  Using only half of the mixture, drop the dumplings by teaspoonfuls (I got about eight of them) into the pot.  Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until the dumplings are done.  To test, stick a toothpick into the middle of a dumpling.  If it comes out clean, the dumpling is cooked.

Spoon the chili and dumplings into bowls.  Top with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired.  Serves 4.

Note: The original recipe recommends using only half of the dumpling dough in the chili and baking the rest as muffins, as the dumplings will absorb too much of the chili liquid otherwise.  I did not find this to be the case.  I initially used half of the dough, cooked the dumplings, and found that there was still plenty of liquid.  I added the rest of the dough and cooked the chili for another ten minutes with perfect results and double the dumplings!  My dumplings were small and dense rather than large and puffy, which is actually the way I like them.  Of course, I used a different brand of corn muffin mix than called for in the original recipe, and the box was past its expiration date, so that may have affected the results.  I suggest you start with half the dough and judge for yourself whether or not you can use up the rest of it in the chili based on how much liquid is left.  You could even add more chicken stock or broth to the chili if needed to use up the rest of the dough for dumplings.

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