This is my entry for Gloria of Foods and Flavors of San Antonio’s monthly chili-cook off challenge. This month’s challenge was slated to be called “Return of the Chili Queens” after the infamous Chili Queens of the 1880’s. In San Antonio these “queens” gathered in their colorful wagons at the Military Plaza to sell their homemade chili. Back then a plate of chili and beans only cost a dime! Sadly the Return of the Chile Queens in San Antonio, the birthplace of chili, has been canceled. Some traditions should be kept alive, and I think this is one of them. It is such a cool part of San Antonio’s history, and is worth re-visiting. Mostly for the fun of it and for chili history’s sake!
When I set out to make this chili I was feeling a lot better after being sick for a few days. Half-way through I realized I wasn’t as well as I thought. I was only able to eat little, to taste test a bit and to check the seasonings. It was every bit as good as the aroma permeating the house promised. The mmm and yum sounds from the kitchen table confirmed it was. And the nearly empty pan.
I took the idea of white chicken chili and ran with it. White chili is usually made with chicken broth instead of tomatoes. A little too soup-like for me. So I added pureed avocado to give it a thick and rich texture, and in case you miss the tomatoes I threw in some fresh diced ones at the end. This is super creamy and flavorful. It’s loaded with delicious textures from tender hunks of chicken, cannellini beans, corn, green pepper, tomatoes, and onions. I used toasty, spicy Chile de Arbol for heat, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Canned chipotles or jalapeños would work wonders, too. If you prefer a subtle spice a can of diced green chiles would do the trick too.