It's time once again for frugal tips from Auntie Pam. What better time for frugal tips than the holiday season, where money can get stretched in a billion different directions?
Whenever I find a recipe that calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I don't buy them like that, because they cost a bazillion dollars a pound. Nope, I buy bone-in skin-on split chicken breasts. Then I bone them myself.
It's really easy. The breast meat sort of separates, right above the chicken tenders part of the breast. After I separate the boneless portion, I then have the option of removing the tenders, to be bagged up and frozen until I have enough for a crunchy chicken tenders dinner. Or more than likely, I leave the tenders on the bone use that for chicken soups.
That's what I did for this recipe. I bought 4 bone-in, skin-on breasts. Separated the boneless portions, and froze them for another recipe, and then took the 4 bones with plenty of tenders meat still on the them and used them in this soup. It's almost like getting free meat for your soup. I mean, I know it's not, but it feels like it!
I modified the recipe for Chicken and White Bean Chili to use my slow cooker. What was unusual about this recipe is that the sour cream and the cheese are stirred into the chili instead of being used for a garnish. This makes the chili really rich, and really good!
Chicken and White Bean Chili
Makes 10 to 12 servings
1 pound dried small white beans
8 fresh Anaheim chilies* (about 1 pound)
2 large onions, chopped
6 cups water
4 split chicken breast bones with tenders still attached
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro
Purchased tomatillo or green chili salsa
Soak beans over night in the slow cooker. Drain, and add back 4 cups of water.
Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop chilies. Set aside.
Add the chilies and the next 8 ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. 30 minutes before serving, stir in the half and half, cheese, and sour cream.
Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro and green salsa. Serve.
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