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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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During the colder months here in Florida, I love making one pot meals like soups and stews. Chili is definitely one of our favorites. I’ve played around with some recipes for this dish and found this to be the one I like the best. It’s easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of prep. The best part is… everything’s done in the slow cooker!

The night before, pour 1 pound of dried Great Northern beans into a large bowl. Cover the beans by 3 inches with water, cover and place on the counter. The next day, drain and rinse the beans to remove any excess starch.

Total Time: 6-6 1/2 hrs 15 mins
Inactive Prep Time: Soaking beans overnight
Prep Time:15 min
Total Cook Time:  6hrs 45 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 pound of, soaked and rinsed, dried Great Northern beans
2 stalks of celery chopped and cut into half moons
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 cans of chopped green chilies
1 large diced sweet onion
1 died green bell pepper
1 quart of chicken broth
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup Masa
1 package of frozen sweet corn
1 lime juiced and 1 lime cut into  wedges for serving
1 cup of grated Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 reserved for serving
2 avocados, slice for garish
chopped fresh cilantro for serving
corn tortillaschips for serving

Directions:
Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and Kosher salt. Sprinkle the spices over the chicken. Add the beans, celery, garlic, canned  chilies, onions, and diced bell pepper.

Pour in the chicken broth, put the lid on and cook on low until the beans are cooked, the vegetables are soft and the flavors are combined, about 6-61/2 hrs.

Mix the milk with the Masa in a small bowl then add to the slow cooker. Add the frozen corn right, from the freezer, and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a board and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker, then add the lime juice, sprinkle in the Monterey Jack cheese and stir to melt.

To serve: Ladle the chili into a bowl and garnish with extra cheese, cilantro, avocado slices, and a lime wedge. Place a few tortilla chips in or on the side for garnish.

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Stuffing Muffins

 

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Stuffing muffins are a great way to serve this traditional side dish. My guests are always amazed when they see these on the table. Just as easy to make as baking the stuffing in a casserole dish

Equipment: 12 cup muffin tin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 12 muffins
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound,  skins removed and browned, sweet Italian sausage  (drain excess grease completely)
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter
4 ribs of celery washed and trimmed into sticks, then diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup of golden raisins
2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups of Pepperidge Farm cubed bread
1 quart box of unsalted chicken stock

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Convection- 350 degrees F.
Preheat 2 large saute pans over medium high heat. To the first pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with with the skinless sausage links. Using a wooden spoon break the sausage apart and cook until golden brown, about 10- 15 minutes. Drain the excess grease from the sausage completely and set into a large bowl.

In the second saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. While the butter is melting add in the chopped fresh sage leaves. Add in the onions and celery as you chop them. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Now add in the golden raisins. Saute for 5-6 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables. Lastly, add in the chopped parsley and turn the heat off.

Add the veggies and bread cubes to the bowl with the cooked sausage. Mix all the ingredients until combined.  Using a ladle, moisten the stuffing with the with the chicken stock until bread is soft not wet. This may use almost all the box of stock.

Using the reserved butter,  liberally butter the muffin cups. Use an ice cream scoop to fill and mound up the stuffing into the muffin tins. Bake until set and crisp on top, 12-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they cook, times could vary slightly.  Carefully remove the stuffing muffins to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears

 

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My favorite part of any stuffing is the crunchy and caramelized topping that occurs in the last minutes of cooking. How the croutons become golden brown, the pears release their sugars and glisten from that slight char along with the crunchy exterior of the sweet Italian sausage. Yet inside, the stuffing is soft and flavorful. What I’m describing is my Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears.

Let me start by showing you how roasting winter squashes brings out their flavor. Then I’m going to go a step further and fill them with savory sausage and sweet pears.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (3)

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons (2)

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One final step. They get a drizzle of olive oil over the top of each one and go back into the 400-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Just long enough to get the tops golden brown and caramelized.

I know it’s a few steps to pull this dish together. Really all the steps are easy. It’s just a matter of having all the prep done and roasting the acorn squash first. I’ll explain in more detail in the directions at the end.

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, Chef’s knife, small mixing bowl, whisk, pastry brush

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash that has been seeded and tops and bottoms cut
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk or casings removed
1 sprig plus 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 diced Bosc pears
1 diced zucchini
6 cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 ribs of diced celery
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of chili powder
3 heaping cups of homemade croutons, (Ciabatta bread), 1 /1/2 inch bread cubes
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
greens for garnish

Directions For The Homemade Croutons:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by evenly dividing the bread cubes out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to evenly coat the bread cubes. Spread the bread cubes evenly into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes turning them once halfway through the cooking process to make sure they brown evenly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Start by cutting the tops off the 4 squash. Next, clean the seeds out of the inside. Then cut a thin slice off the bottom of each one so they will sit upright on the baking sheets. Place 2 on each sheet tray. On the inside of each acorn squash add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until fork-tender. In a small mixing bowl with melted butter add chili powder and brown sugar, whisk to combine. Brush the inside of each squash with the flavored butter mixture and return to oven for another 5 to 7 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the squash for the last few minutes of cooking. You don’t want them to burn. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside.

In a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat (no oil needed) add the skinless sweet Italian sausage. Using a wooden spoon, start breaking up the sausage. Cook the sausage for 15 minutes until brown, crumbly, and there is no pink. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel allowing the fat to drain, set aside.

Tip: Take a paper towel and wipe out the sauté pan. No reason to dirty another pan

Using the same sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter, olive oil, and chopped sage leaves. Once the sage becomes fragrant add the diced cremini mushrooms, zucchini, celery, onions, Bosc pears, minced garlic, chili powder, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Once the veggies start to soften, then add in the diced pears. Stir and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooked sausage back to the pan, stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Tip: It’s important that all the veggies are relatively cut the same size ensuring they’ll cook at the same time.

At this point, add the sausage and vegetable mixture to the bowl with the croutons. Add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, gently toss to combine.

Fill each of the squash with the filling. Any extra filling place into an oven-safe baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top of each one and place back into the 400-degree F. oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the tops become golden brown and caramelized.

Place leavy greens on the plate. Arrange the Roasted Acorn Squash Filled With Italian Sausage And Pears on top, garnish with a sprig of fresh sage. Serve hot.

 

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

 

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