Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dad's Surprise 50th Birthday (White Chicken Chili Recipe)

the birthday boy!

This weekend we threw a surprise 50th birthday party for my dad. Between my cousins coming to visit with their baby girl, and the fact that it was actually on my birthday, he never saw it coming. Plus his birthday isn't for a couple of weeks yet. But boy, was it fun! We planned this party months ago when we found out that Nebraska and Ohio State were playing each other on my birthday. It sounded like the perfect opportunity to surprise Dad, and get a bunch of our family and friends together to watch the big game between my parents' home state Huskers and Michael's beloved Buckeyes.

our little husker & buckeye babies

In addition to good times, we also had quite the spread of food! Michael made his famous (at least to us) pulled pork in the smoker and then we put it in a slow cooker to keep it warm the day of the party (I'm hoping to get him to do a guest post on it, but not holding my breath...). I made a double batch of white chicken chili in the other crockpot, and we ordered upwards of 150 wings from KSR (a local hole-in-the-wall kind of place with the best wings ever!).  And of course, there was cake.  But for today, because it's freezing and fall and football season, here is my recipe for white chicken chili.

my amazing family

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:  (note, this is a double batch and filled a large crock pot to the brim)
- 6 cups shredded chicken
- 1 large onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 green bell peppers
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large cans chopped green chilis
- 3 cans white beans
- 2 cartons (8 cups) chicken stock
- 1/2 jar jalepenos, chopped
- 2 t. oregano
- 2 t. cumin
- 1 t. salt, more or less to taste
- 1 t. black pepper
- 1 bundle chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 c. Monterray Jack cheese, shredded
**Serving suggestion:  Greek yogurt or sour cream, corn chips, extra jalepenos for those that like it hot!


1.  Boil the chicken in a large pot of water until cooked through.  Shred and set aside.  I like to do this ahead of time and store in a Ziplock bag in the fridge.

2.  Chop the veggies.  Again, I did this ahead and put in a large bag in the fridge until the morning of the party.

3.  When ready to cook, place all ingredients except cilantro and cheese in the slow cooker and cook over low heat for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. 

4.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.  Add chopped cilantro just before serving.

5.  This can also be made on the stove if you prefer.  Saute veggies until onion is soft and transluscent, then add stock, spices, beans, chilis, and chicken and cook for about an hour.  Then add cheese and stir until melted.  Add cilantro last.  To make this dish low-fat and much healthier, omit the cheese.

printable recipe

Some highlights of the party:

1.  Lots of candles!

2.  Marzotto sandwich... an oldie but goodie

3.  Rock 'em sock 'em robots

4.  Family photos

5.  My cousins came all the way from Nebraska and we got to meet baby Eliza!

6.  The girls posed for lots of cute pics, too.

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