Creamy green chile and chicken stew
6 slices bacon
2 large yellow onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer or lager
1 quart chicken broth, plus more if desired
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsps. dried Mexican oregano, crushed
2 tsps. ground cumin
4 large medium-hot green chiles (such as poblano, about 1 pound), roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn kernels (from about 3 cobs) or cooked and drained white hominy
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 bay leaves
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
Warm corn tortillas
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until it's crisp and the fat is rendered, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, crumble and set aside. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until deep golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Reserve half of the onions for the whole wheat flatbread recipe, or for another use.
Add the beer to the remaining onions, stir to scrape up any browned bits and continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are moist and the beer is somewhat reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, lime juice, oregano, cumin, chiles, beans, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Purée the stew until smooth, using a blender (in batches) or in the pot with an immersion blender.
Add the corn, carrots, bay leaves and crumbled bacon to the stew and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside until it's cool enough to handle. (Meanwhile, leave the pot on the stove and allow the contents to simmer gently.) Shred the chicken, then return it to the pot.
Stir in one-fourth cup of the sour cream. Thin, if desired, with additional broth, season to taste and gently simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. You should have about 12 cups of stew. Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with dollops of sour cream, if you like, and serve with tortillas on the side.
Pairs Well With
Los Angeles Times, May 2009
Note: When making this recipe, you can use half of the bean and wine mixture from the broccoli rabe with white beans instead of the cannellini beans in the ingredient list below. To roast the peppers, place them on a stove burner or under the broiler and toast, turning frequently, until the skin is completely charred; place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. When the peppers are cool, peel or brush off the blackened skin and remove the seeds. Do not rinse the peppers because it removes the flavor.
Each of 12 servings: 255 calories; 18 grams protein; 17 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 55 mg. cholesterol; 309 mg. sodium.