A Southern Grace: deconverted.

December 28, 2016



White and green chicken chili. I LOVED cilantro* for the longest time. Something changed.

*I just typed chilantro and thought about leaving it. :)

Something changed and now I'm not a lover. I'm not a hater, but I find myself avoiding it. You probably won't believe me when I tell you what happened, but it's the truth.

A few years ago, my apartment became infested with stink bugs. I don't know how or why, but it was awful. If you're unfamiliar with these insects, they don't bother you until you bother them (that is, touch them in any way and with anything), at which point they stay true to their name. To my nostrils, the odor they emit (and leave on your fingers should you be foolish enough to touch them...) smells remarkably like cilantro, and I still haven't been able to disassociate the two.

That said, I still like tolerate cilantro in small doses, and I think it's a necessary component of certain dishes, like this bean salad and miscellaneous Mexican dishes. It really belongs in this chili too, for color, freshness, and flavor. However, I just don't buy it anymore and therefore didn't have any on hand to add...but you certainly can!

I find stink bugs in our house from time to time, but knock on wood, their presence hasn't been anything like the natural disaster in my old apartment. I hope you're fortunate enough to avoid them completely.

White and Green Chicken Chili
(printable recipe)
Serves 10
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken or turkey pieces, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 (14-1/2 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed, divided use
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional
In a small saucepan, poach chicken with water to cover. This is the method I use. Remove to cool before shredding.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion and peppers in oil until lightly browned.
Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Stir in the broth, chilies, cumin, oregano, chile powder, sugar, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low.
With a potato masher, mash one can of beans until smooth; add to saucepan.
Add remaining beans to saucepan.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until onion and peppers are tender.
Stir in the shredded chicken and simmer 5 minutes more, or until warmed through.
Stir in the lime juice and adjust seasonings to taste.
Top each serving with cilantro. cheese, sour cream, chopped jalapenos, and/or tortilla chips, if desired.


Angie's Recipes said...

I too love cilantro! Love the word chilantro, would be perfect for this deliciously comforting chili dish!

Jenn said...

Sounds reasonable to me.
I don't eat cilantro b/c it tastes like soap. 😖

Food Gal said...

Wow! I had no idea that stink bugs smelled like that. No wonder you are turned off of cilantro for life. Can't blame you. I like how you do include cilantro in the recipe,though, for those who can't get enough of the polarizing herb. ;)

Marcelle said...

This is one of my favorite soups, Grace it's super delicious stuff. Our recipes are very similar and I have always used cilantro in mine. I've seen plenty of stink bugs around, but I've never set one off...thankfully!! I stay clear for sure now!! :):)

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

This is such a sad story! I would hate to lose my love for cilantro. But I have some terrible bug stories in my past so I do understand. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!