Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Food Network Chefs Challenge: Paula Deen's White Bean Chili

I'm back to participating in the Food Network Chef's Challenge, and this week is the Deen Brothers or Paula Deen.

aaaahhhh Paula.

I actually planned our trip to Savannah around eating at her resturant The Lady and Sons. It sure was yummy, and we walked there straight from Mass at The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. I also think we went back to our hotel after stuffing our faces with fried chicken, greens and cornbread and took a loooong nap.

I was in fried chicken heaven during our trip to Savannah, and I think I ate it everyday while we were in Savannah. Even though my favorite restaurant of the trip was Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, I still think of Paula and her fried chicken when I think of Savannah. Onto the recipe!

I love Paula's Almond Chicken Salad, and my mother-in-law has introduced Drunken Chicken to everyone in our family. But I wanted to try something new from Paula, and something a tidge more healthy than a casserole with cream of something soup and mayonnaise - not that I don't enjoy one of those every now and then. So I chose Paula's White Bean Chili....

White Bean Chili
recipe adapted from Paula Deen

1 pound dried navy beans
5 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles (fresh or canned)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

Rinse beans well, cover with cool water, and soak for 2 hours. Drain. Place beans in large pot with chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot with beans. Add chicken, cumin, oregano, pepper, and cilantro. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

The verdict?
I didn't include nearly as many green chilies as the recipe called for, and I think my version was lacking a little because of it! Next time: more chilies!!

Also, this was very time I will reduce the dried beans to around 2 cups. But the stew had great flavor, and I ate it for lunch for the next few days. My son is still figuring out the whole eating-soup-without-dumping-it-everywhere skill, but he delightfully picked out ALL the beans and was very happy. I will be making this again!

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking 


  1. I love beany soups so this one looks like a must try for me!

  2. I thought about making this recipe too -- thanks for your tips on how to make it!

  3. This looks like a very heary soup for the fall and winter. Yum! Thanks for the insight and for cooking with can do another Paula recipe next week if you want :)

  4. That looks really good! Thanks for the review:-)

  5. This sounds like a recipe I would love! Unfortunately, my husband HATES beans. I guess it's one of those recipes I might have to make for myself!

  6. ROFL!! We went to Savannah a couple years ago for our anniversary and we planned our trip around her too. LOL. We did the Paula Deen bus tour which got us easy reservations at her place for dinner.
    Oh my. We ate sooo much that night. I had never HURT from eating before, but I did that night. We just crawled in bed and looked at each other and laughed.
    I can't eat like that all the time though.. but oh the ooey gooey cakes of hers... to die for!!

    Going to check out this Food Network thing now