December 04, 2021 by Arden Montgomery
What to Pair with (Spicy) White Chili?
Growing up in Wisconsin, Chili was a weekly staple throughout the fall and winter months for two reasons: Packer parties and cold weather.
White Chili on Packer Sundays is a family tradition that I’ve carried throughout my adulthood. The recipe has taken some twists and turns, and the level of heat is always a mystery until you take your first bite. My father liked his White Chili hot enough to make him sweat. We’re talking habaneros, not just jalapeños!
With something that can be spicy enough to make you sweat, there’s one answer when it comes to pairing questions. I don’t go for a glass a wine, I’m sipping on a cold beer. We currently feature one beer company at Argaux and it’s Topa Topa Brewing Co.
Topa Topa Brewing Co. was founded in 2015 in Ventura, CA, nestled between the Topa Topa mountains in Ojai and the salty shores of the Pacific.
“We believe the people should drink great beer! And we love that we get to craft great beer amongst a landscape and community that inspires us. Topa Topa is upheld by a trifecta of values: quality, craftsmanship, and community spirit. This means we use the freshest ingredients, we work with the most skilled brewers around, and we thrive on uplifting and unifying our community. We get stoked on good surf, a long hike, a tough climb, or a good-old-fashioned day of hard work. And we think these days are made all the better when we’re surrounded by friends with a cold beer in hand. So next time you’re near one of our tap rooms— whether in Ventura, Ojai, Santa Barbara or Camarillo— pull up a chair, grab a fresh pint, and enjoy the company. Or if you’re gearing up to take to the trails or the sea, never fear, we have 6-packs, growlers, and crowlers aplenty.”
If I had to choose one of their beers to pair with this White Chili, it would be the Topa Topa ‘Dos Topas’ Lager.
It’s bright and refreshing and will complement the vibrant acidic and herbaceous notes from fresh lime and cilantro. It will also enhance the creamy texture of the dish and keep your mouth cool if you decide to throw in the (optional) extra habaneros.
Are you craving White Chili and a cold brewskis yet? How about another win for the Packers? Have fun with the recipe below, I am so excited to share what’s become a “secret” family recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Packer Sunday White Chili
- 24 oz. Box of Chicken Broth
- 1 Bottle Mexican Beer
- Rotisserie or 4-6 Boneless & Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Bay Leaf
- 6 Cans White Beans
- 3 Jalapeños
- 3 Ears White Corn, Husk Removed
- 2 Habaneros
- 3 Serranos
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- White Onion, Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1 Tablespoon Oregano
- Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- Lime & Lemon
- Cheddar Cheese
- Sour Cream
Arden’s Spin: Without the white beans and corn if you have a bean or corn intolerance
- Butternut Squash
Sauté onion and chopped peppers in olive oil. Add more or less peppers depending on heat/spice preference. Add herbs & spices to taste. After a couple of minutes add the beans and chicken broth.
While the above is on simmer, poach your chicken breasts in water until almost cooked through then remove and either chop or shred and add to the chili pot. Note: I like to poach the chicken in water, broth, bay leaf, garlic and white onion. You could even add oregano to the broth.
Continue simmering until chicken is cooked through then add 2-3 ears of shucked white corn. Add a bottle of Mexican beer like Pacifico as it continues to simmer. This will also keep the chili from becoming too thick. Add more or less beer based on preference.
Cook for another 5-10 minutes. You can garnish your chili once served with chopped cilantro, avocado, squeeze of lime, sour cream, or shredded cheddar. The chili is great with toasted sourdough or tortilla chips!
If you are not including the beans or corn, you can keep it interesting with butternut squash. What I love about adding squash is that the sweetness of the squash cuts the spice a bit. It’s a nice pairing of sweet and spicy. You can also mix it up by making the base of this chili with tomatillos. You would essentially food process tomatillos with garlic and add this in the beginning once you add the spices to the pot.