jan-15-2009-158

I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but there is a theme going on in our kitchen: soups and greens. And why not? When it is single digits outside, soup just sounds good, right? This week alone we have soup or chili on the menu for four out of seven nights.

I have also been roasting chickens once a week lately. This provides us with leftover meat and rich homemade stock for wonderful soup-making. I like to use my slow cooker to make stock overnight. I also like to use my slow cooker for soups. As a busy mama, it really helps to be able to chop vegetables and prepare soup earlier in the day and then when the dinner hour comes, (which inevitably brings a cranky baby), all I have to do is add a salad and or a grain for the grain eaters.

This chili, though, this is a meal in itself. With beans cooked in chicken stock, leftover chicken and kale – all you need is a dollop of sour cream stirred in just before serving.

I need nothing else at the table, but a hearty bowl of this chili.

Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chili with Kale

Recipe notes: I always add salt to my beans when I start the cooking process. I have read that doing this can cause the beans to toughen, but I have never found this to be true. What I have found does toughen beans is adding acidic ingredients before they are tender. That is why I add the chilis after the beans are cooked, as they can be stored in a bit of vinegar.

Ingredients

2 cups dried great northern beans, soaked for 24 hours in plenty of water
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, depending on your taste
2 (4.5 oz) cans green chilis, chopped
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 bunch of kale, leaves stripped from the stalks and chopped
sea salt to taste
creme fraiche or sour cream for serving

Directions

Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Place beans in slow cooker (at least 4 1/2 quart size). Add onions, garlic, a good pinch of salt, cumin, cayenne and chicken stock to beans. Simmer the beans with this mixture in the slow cooker for 5 hours, or until tender.

Mix in the green chilis and chicken and simmer for another 2 hours. Thirty minutes before serving stir in the chopped kale. Taste for seasoning and adjust flavors with sea salt if needed (this will depend on whether or not your stock was salted).

Garnishes can include dollops of sour cream, sliced scallions and cilantro.

This post is a contribution to the nourishing soups & stews carnival.