Terry Anderson's White-Bean Chicken Chili
My friend Terry Anderson, besides being a great anesthesiologist, is a talented cook and host. He makes this delicious soup every year during the holidays, when he and his partner Michael have a tree-decorating party. Everyone wants seconds.
1 pound dried small white beans
8 fresh Anaheim chilies (about 1 pound) (I just use 3 cans of chopped green chilis)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 large onions, chopped
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups half and half
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro
Purchased tomatillo or green chili salsa (if you want, I usually don't)
Place beans in heavy large pot with enough cold water to cover by at least 3 inches. Let stand overnight.
Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop chilies. Set aside.
Drain beans. Return to pot. Add enough cold water to pot to cover beans by 3 inches. Simmer until beans are almost tender, stirring occasionally about 1 hour. Drain well.
Melt butter in clean heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Add flour and stir 5 minutes (do not brown). Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half and half. Simmer gently until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add reserved white beans and roasted chilies, shredded chicken, and next 5 ingredients. Simmer gently to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
Add grated cheese and sour cream to chili; stir just until chili is heated through and cheese melts (do not boil). Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro and green salsa. Serve.