Calico Chili, October 12, 2020
The Covered Dish
By Debbie Dance Uhrig
Sometimes when you write a great deal of recipes you forget what you have written! Last week I wanted to make a nice pot of soup that we could have on hand, for the week. While I was thumbing through things I stumbled upon this yummy dish. Often when I’m demonstrating a recipe I get very tired of the food because I’ve been making it every week! The result can be that I also totally put it out of mind. Bing, ‘Calico Chili’.
I made this soup last weekend and then took it to friends while we were traveling this past week. (YES, I travelled, stayed safe, but travelled!) Everyone wanted more of the soup and totally enjoyed it. So let’s dive in and take it apart with things I’ve altered thus far, in the dish.
First and foremost please rename the soup and make a couple of change ups to make it uniquely yours! I ‘promise’ you will get lots and lots of positive comments, with this recipe.
When the dish was first written I made comments about the thickness of the soup body. It truly is so thick you could pour it over a mound of fresh grits! So, when I made the recipe last week I changed it out a tad. Do keep in mind that once this recipe sets in the refrigerator it gets even thicker! Let’s just make a list of what I did differently last week:
- Used kielbasa sausage sliced into small chunks instead of chicken.
One time I used half smoked turkey and half kielbasa sausage.
- Added 2 more cups of chicken stock, could have easily used 3 cups.
- Had fresh garden peppers, implemented 1 large diced pepper in place of green chilies. Sautéed pepper with the onion.
- Reached for creamed corn and was all out! Made my own creamed corn.
How: Last time I used fresh corn, cut off the cob, about 2 small ears. Sauté the corn in a bit of olive oil, whisked in about 2 tablespoons of flour, a sprinkling of salt and pepper. After working the flour into the corn pour in about 11-12 ounces of half and half. Cook until thickened. Allow to cool slightly and then add to the soup.
- Consider adding fresh cilantro or garnishing with the herb.
The hominy in the dish literally blends in and I would say many won’t know it is present. It’s a nice use of the popped corn, to this cook, hominy is great anytime!
This is off subject, but next time you’re hungry for hominy consider creaming two cans of hominy, (I drain one and not the other.) add sautéed green onions, chopped peppers or green chilies along with small pieces of kielbasa sausage. It’s a great side to a country style dish. Oh, don’t forget a little cheese too, not too much as the hominy is the soloist here. You could stir in a little cream or half and half for more creaminess too.
Making a dish like a soup or stew each week is a good tip for many households. Especially with large families that have several schedules to work around.
I hope you give this soup a whirl. I promise you’ll enjoy the rich flavors and sharing a cup with a friend. This week I’m making 10 lbs. of beef into meat loaves, for the freezer and doing a bit of baking for the winter. This also means cold meatloaf sandwiches, yum!
Make it an outstanding week, whatever confronts, push through with a positive attitude. Learn how to pray and life will overflow with goodness. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
3 pounds or 5 cups chopped chicken breast
2 carrots, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 additional tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white flour
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 small can green chilies
1 can creamed corn
1 can yellow corn, drained
1 can white hominy, drained
Using aluminum foil bake the chicken breasts in a foil pouch at 350 degrees until the juices run clear. The time will vary depending upon whether you are using thawed chicken or frozen. I sprinkle my favorite seasoning spice on top and seal up the bag. Place the pouch in a jelly roll pan in case there is a leak.
In a large stockpot place the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook until onion is totally translucent. Stir in all the dry seasonings. Now add the extra 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring to melt. Sprinkle the white flour over the ingredients to blend. Pour the 6 cups of stock into the mixture and stir until smooth. Continue heating until the mixture comes to a good thick boil. Reduce heat and stir in the chopped chicken, green chilies, creamed corn, regular drained corn and drained hominy.
This is so thick it could practically be served over cooked grits or rice. When served as a chowder I like to top the dish with shredded pepper jack cheese or minced fresh cilantro.