It’s November 1, which means National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is once again upon us, and I’m in. It also means Halloween was last night, and in my house we have a number of family traditions around the celebration, the most relevant of which for this post is that I always make a pot of something hot for us to have after trick-or-treating.
Last night was particularly cold – it was literally freezing, with a wind chill below freezing and actual snow coming down – and I will confess that I did not go trick-or-treating with my gang to even one house. I can’t even say that it was because I needed to see about dinner, because I had put that in the slow cooker hours earlier. Basically, I was just a wimp.
So I said good-bye to Death:
And I said good-bye to the Decapitated Dude:
And I wished all three of my fellas good luck.
And I stayed home and handed out candy.
I also used the time to take selfies:
And take pictures of the cat:
And roast pumpkin seeds:
(whoops! no picture, because they are all in our bellies)
So it’s not like I was wasting time while my kids and husband froze out there begging for candy, amiright?
I usually make regular chili for Halloween, but this time I decided to do White Chicken Chili. I took a recipe I’d never made before and paleo-fied it. It was good, but I think it could be better next time. I’ll share it here, and if you have any suggestions, I’m interested!
Slow-Cooked Paleo White Chicken Chili
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons, coconut oil, divided
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
- 1 medium-sized jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 4oz. cans chopped roasted green chiles
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sauté onion until tender.
- Add the chicken, jalapeño, and remaining tablespoon of oil and cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, 5-6 minutes; transfer everything to the slow cooker.
- Add the roasted chiles, oregano, cumin, cloves, cayenne, and 8 cups of chicken broth to the slow cooker; stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 6 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. During the last hour, add the coconut milk, chopped zucchini, and salt.
- Remove the chicken from the cooker, shred with a fork, and return to the cooker.
recipe heavily adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook (NYM Series) (affiliate link) – I LOVE this cookbook.
The original recipe called for 3 chicken breasts, which is what I used last night. I realized afterwards that I should’ve doubled that to make up for the fact that I wasn’t using beans (as called for in the original recipe). So I’ve doubled the chicken above, though I haven’t yet made it that way. I just know that the soup as I made it needed more protein (and generally more substance).
This was really good, but it wasn’t as thick as traditional white chicken chili, which has beans in it. I added coconut milk to it to make it a little creamier, but I still would’ve loved it to be a bit thicker. Paleo people, what would you do? Add arrowroot? Pureed pumpkin? Some other thickening trick?
This is a recipe I’m interested in refining, so I will definitely keep working at it, and will share my results.
How did he DO THAT with his head? Shuddering! Glad you had a great Halloween!
Haha! It’s freaky-looking, isn’t it? It’s a couple of thick poster boards put together into a tube. Then my husband cut a hole from my son’s head, and a couple of semi-circles to fit over his shoulders. The tube sits on top of my son’s shoulders and then he sticks his head through the hole of the tube. Then we put the shirt and jacket over the tube. I really didn’t think it was going to work, so we were all thrilled when it did!
Chia seeds for thickening? Haven’t tried working with chia seeds, yet, myself.
I’ve used chia seeds in smoothies and puddings, and they do work to thicken, but I’m not sure I would like them in this soup. They create more of a gel, you know? But it’s definitely something to think about. I’m going to go hunting for some chia soup recipes now, and see what I learn. Thanks!
I just happened to see them in a fig butter recipe. I guess they would be sort of gel-like. Let me know what you find out. It’s soup season, and some need thickening.
Okay, so I did find some soups with chia for thickening. I might have to experiment with this myself and report back!
Why not put beans in it?
I’m trying to keep it Paleo, and beans aren’t Paleo.
I’m not totally up on Paleo, but if you can use them, how about ground pepitas/pumpkin seeds? They would be from the correct cuisine and should work a bit like the ground almonds that are sometimes in mole.