Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Monday, November 22, 2010

Preparing for Thanksgiving Trip

It has been a balmy weekend here in Fort Worth, but an arctic front is due on Thanksgiving day.  We're going to try to outrun it by dragging Homer down to Houston on Wednesday.  Sandy's sister, Brenda, lives there, and we're planning to have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family.

Although the weather was kinda inappropriate for it, I decided to make a pot of chicken chili, using a recipe that I had been kicking around in my head.  We have a small farmer's market in our neighborhood that carries Hatch chiles (roasted and frozen), and I had been wanting to use those in chicken chili.  If I say so myself, it was wonderful!  Now, I'm not convinced that the Hatch chiles had anything to do with it, but these chiles, grown in Hatch, New Mexico, have quite a following.  Their cachet may be justified, but I'm always suspicious that such notoriety is more likely an opportunity to inflate prices.  I mean, really!  Could there possibly be that much difference in a chile grown in Hatch and one grown elsewhere?  On the other hand, I'm sort of okay with it, because I like the fact that it puts Hatch on the map, complete with a festival.  I think every town should have a claim to fame.

The recipe?  Okay, here goes:

1 large onion, chopped
6 medium tomatillos, chopped
6 Hatch green chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped  (Note: Use mild variety if you're not a fan of very spicy chili.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. butter (oil or bacon fat can be substituted)
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
6 chicken thighs, deboned and chopped slightly in food processor
1 can white hominy or white beans (great northern or navy), drained  (Note: the flavor of the hominy will be more distinctive than the flavor of the beans.  I sometimes add a drained can of white beans along with the hominy.)
1 T. cumin 
1 T. McCormick Montreal chicken seasoning
1 T. Badia Complete Seasoning (found in many Latino markets)
1 T. Los Chileros Salsa Santa Fe Seasoning (; this is a favorite mixture of dried New Mexico chilies that I use in all Mexican dishes.)

Note about dry seasonings:  I like bold and spicy flavors in Mexican food, so I use plenty of seasoning.  Consider using teaspoons of these seasonings if you are not so inclined.  Warning: The Los Chileros seasoning is VERY spicy; one tablespoon gives a hefty burn to this dish.  You may want to moderate this a bit.

In a medium pot, saute' the first four ingredients in butter until softened.  Add one can of chicken broth and bring to a low boil.  Add the processed chicken thighs, cream of chicken soup and the dry seasonings.   Add chicken broth from the second can to the desired consistency, if needed.  Simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the hominy or beans during last 10 minutes.  Serves 4-6.

Well, let's're probably thinking about President Franklin Pierce, aren't you?  You should, because his birthday is coming up on November 23.  What?  You're not exactly up to speed on President Pierce?  Neither was I, until I did a little research after I happened upon a reference to him.  After reading his bio, I was struck by the similarity between Pierce's presidency and that of our current president.  In an effort to suppress political partisanship in this main blog, I have included a comparison on a separate page that you can find here.  If you don't want to get into politics, don't go there.

194 days to retirement!


  1. The recipe looks great, we will put it away and hopefully try it as the wx grows cooler. Thanks for sharing.

  2. oh yes, there IS a difference in Hatch chilis. I was there for a soils training institute for 6 weeks back in 2002 and have never forgotten the smell of green chilis roasting all night. It has something to do with the alluvial soils and weather along those Rio Grande terraces. worth every penny! thanks for the recipe.

  3. its a perfect day for chili up here in the 'great white north'!!


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