The weather has finally (finally!) turned cold here. I’m probably going to regret wishing for cold weather before winter is over but that December heat wave we had here in South Carolina was just miserable. There’s something wrong with having to turn on your air conditioner on Christmas. Just wrong, I say!
As soon as those temperatures dropped I was itching to make a big ol’ pot of something! Something that requires a spoon to eat! Something piping hot! Something I could love on all day while catching up on the laundry while wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt with the last season of Game of Thrones playing in the background! Is that TMI?? Do you love me less to imagine me with miss-matched socks on and my hair yanked back behind a headband? And a maternity sweatshirt that Husband has threatened to divorce me over if I ever try to wear it to Wal-Mart again? Too much??
A N Y W A Y . . . I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make chili or some sort of a chicken chowder so I decided on something in between! There’s nothing better than dried beans when it comes to a good, slow-cooked pot of wonder so I hit my stash of Hurst’s beans and came up with the Great Northern HamBeens and decided to use them in a chicken chili. A buffalo chicken chili!
If you can’t find Hurst’s Great Northern HamBeens in your local grocery stores, ask for them! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.
2 lbs. chicken breasts (3-4 breasts)
1 packet ranch dressing mix (dry mix)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrots (optional)
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1-2 cups water
1 20-oz. bag Hurst’s Great Northern Beans (with HamBeens seasoning packet)
1/2 cup hot wing sauce (or more to taste)
Bleu cheese, crumbled
Diced green onions
Wash chicken breasts then place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle dry ranch dressing mix over chicken breasts and coat thoroughly (I used my hands to really make sure all the pieces were coated well). Cover and refrigerate to marinate until ready to use.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, sauté celery, onion and carrots in butter for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, 1 cup of water and beans (with seasoning packet), stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook beans at a slow simmer for two hours.
Check beans throughout cooking and add more water if needed. It is necessary to maintain enough liquid for the beans to cook but not so much that things become soupy (you want to maintain a “chili-like” consistency throughout cooking).
Once beans have cooked for 2 hours, add chicken, cover and continue cooking over low heat for two more hours.
Remove chicken from pot and cover tightly with aluminum foil; set aside. Continue cooking beans for one more hour or until tender.
Once cooled, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken and hot wing sauce to beans and stir well. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with bleu cheese crumbles and diced green onion if desired.
- I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts but you can also use bone-in, skin-on breasts or thighs just be sure to remove the skin and bones before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
- Use ranch dressing mix, not ranch dip mix.
- Use hot wing sauce, not plain hot sauce or tabasco. I used Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce.
- If you can’t find Hurst’s Great Northern HamBeens in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you use any dried white bean (great northern beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, small lima beans, etc.) then add salt to taste. You can also order them online!
- Yes, I think you can make this in a crock pot! I would cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours, adding the chicken half-way through so it doesn't overcook.
If you love recipes with dried beans, see also:
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage
Ham & Bean Soup
15 Bean Turkey Soup
Cajun Beans & Rice
Bean & Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
Split Pea Soup with Ham
This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!
The development of this recipe was sponsored by Hurst's Beans. As always, all opinions are my own.