So my church hosted a chili cook off that raises money for habitat for humanity. Of course I had to enter. I entered last year and did not place in the top three. It was a hearty chili made with shredded beef, homemade ancho chili powder, with a hint of cocoa. I got rave reviews but no dice in the judging corner. This year I took a different approach. Fat is flavor. I made a white chicken chili.
I started by rendering some bacon. (how many great recipes start with this step?)
Sauteed celery, green pepper, and onion until soft.
I roasted a a few of each of the following peppers in the oven. Poblano, Anaheim, Serrano, and Jalapeno. I let the rest in a plastic bag after roasting to make it easier to remove the skin then I chopped them up and added to the chili.
Added a couple cloves of chopped garlic.
Added chicken stock, tomatillo salsa, and green enchilada sauce.
Seasoned with cumin, salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dried oregano.
Added seasoned and grilled chicken breasts, that were diced into chunks.
Finished by added cream cheese, the reserved bacon bits, and shredded Monterrey jack cheese.
This recipe was enough to win first place with the judges, land me a silver spoon trophy, and send me onto the city championship on 2/28/09. I will keep you updated on how I do.