White Mage Chicken Chili

Eiko's kitchen in Madain Sari“Good food not only delicious! Good food made with heart! This very important when cooking for friends!”

—Quina Quen, FFIX

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 16 oz. chicken sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lbs. plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 14-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 oz. cooked, shredded home-smoked chicken or storebought rotisserie chicken
  • ¾ oz. cilantro, washed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Grated white cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 20 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add garlic and cook, uncovered, for about 15 more minutes.

Add sausage and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add spices. Stir in the jalapeno peppers and cook for about 2 minutes before slowly pouring in the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits. Stir in the beans and increase heat. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Stir in chicken and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice and serve with cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top, if desired.

Makes about 8 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving (does not include cheese): 457 calories, 16.6 g. fat, 5.2 g. saturated fat, 1 g. poly. fat, 4 g. mono. fat, 92.9 mg. cholesterol, 1435.8 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 477.1 mg. potassium, 38 g. carbohydrates, 13.9 g. fiber, 36.5 g. protein, vitamin A 11%, vitamin C 26%, calcium 15%, iron 25%


Qu’s Marsh Stew

Quina in Qu’s Marsh“There is plenty of stuff in the world that tastes better than frogs.”

–Zidane Tribal, FFIX

I used pork andouille sausage in this recipe, but for a healthier version, you can also find chicken and turkey andouille sausages with half the calories and fat of the pork variety.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and pale parts separated from dark)
  • 1½ lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, uncooked, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 oz. cooked andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into ½” rounds
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 oz. chopped kale
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • 1 lb. frozen sliced okra, divided
  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ¼ teaspoon filé powder (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add celery, bell peppers, and the white and pale parts of the green onions, and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.

Add chicken and sprinkle with salt, paprika, and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Add sausage and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir well to combine. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Stir in kale, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and about half the okra. Simmer until chicken is very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in quinoa and remaining okra and continue to simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in filé powder and the dark ends of the green onions. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf and serve.

Makes 11 servings (1 flat cup per serving).

Per 1-cup serving: 323 calories, 15.7 g. fat, 4.8 g. saturated fat, 1.5 g. poly. fat, 4.1 g. mono. fat, 60.7 mg. cholesterol, 1090.6 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 466.2 mg. potassium, 25.2 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 22 g. protein, vitamin A 45%, vitamin C 107%, calcium 11%, iron 16%

Alexandrian Sausage Rolls

Quina Quen“I can’t stand the food at the castle. It’s way too high-class for my tastes. How can anyone get full on that stuff? The cheap food here is a lot better.”

—Zidane Tribal, FFIX

My Australian friend insists that the frozen puff pastry dough sold in American stores is too sweet for this recipe. I found a British shop and used their dough instead. He also says white bread is better for the breadcrumbs, but I think whole-grain makes a nice contrast to the pastry. For a vegetarian version, try Dalmascan Crown.

  • 4 slices of whole-grain bread (about 5 oz.)
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • 8 oz. ground chuck, 85% lean
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and grated
  • 1 medium zucchini, washed and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb. pastry dough in two sheets, each about 9″ x 9″

Toast the bread slices lightly. Tear into pieces and use a food processor or blender to make breadcrumbs.

Transfer breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Add meat, vegetables, and seasonings and mix together with your hands, being careful not to overwork the meat. Whisk 1 egg and stir into the mixture until all ingredients are combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set out the sheets of pastry dough onto wax paper. Cut each sheet in half and lay out the four pieces of dough end-to-end to make one long strip of dough. Spread meat mixture in a narrow line down the middle of the dough.

Spray the baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Starting from one end of the dough strip, overlap the edges together, working down the strip of dough to create a tube.

Whisk 1 egg in a bowl and brush over the top of the tube. Slice the tube into 16 pieces. Arrange each piece standing up on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the meat is browned and the dough is golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Year-End Recipe Roundup, Plus a Contest!

Quina QuenI experiment with plenty of Final Fantasy recipes, but I only post the ones that I really love.  That said, looking back over 2010, I definitely have some favorites.

Cid’s Spicy Chili

This was the first recipe I posted here, and there’s a reason.  I kept re-writing the recipe, re-making and passing it off for friends to try, through several winters.  I started with dried beans, played around with that concept, and ultimately decided that canned beans were a better choice.  When I finally had a keeper, I was thrilled!  This is, in my opinion, the perfect chili recipe.  (I know Texans will disagree.)

Irvine’s Cowboy Breakfast

I make this all the time.  It’s healthy, but also deliciously cheesy — a great Sunday breakfast.  To vary it up, use a can of pinto beans instead of refried beans, adding them in the beginning along with the butter and allowing some of the liquid to cook off before pouring in the eggs.

Coq Au Madhu

Bhujerba obviously has roots in colonial India, and I used that as the inspiration for this revamp of a classic French recipe.  Another variation is Bodhum-Style Coq Au Vin, which is inspired by California cuisine instead — the two recipes are as different as night and day.

Mobliz Dried Meat

This recipe is time-consuming, but the results are oh-so-worthwhile.  I’ve served these ribs at several summer parties, and they’re always a huge hit.

Zanarkand Lamb Pilaf

FFX’s city of Zanarkand was modeled after the Uzbek city of Samarkand.  This recipe is a take on a traditional Uzbek recipe.  The lamb and apricots melt into the rice to create a deliciously creamy pudding.

Madain Sari Stew

In FFIX’s Madain Sari cooking scene, Eiko sings, “Potato, potato, pumpkin bomb, lots and lots of nuts,” while she’s making her stew.  I used that as a starting point for this recipe, which might sound weird but is surprisingly (and exceptionally!) tasty.

White Mage Chicken Soup

This is my go-to recipe when I’m under the weather.  It’s full of ingredients that heal and promote wellness.  It’s also fairly quick and easy, which is useful when you aren’t feeling strong enough to cook more complicated food.

Nabradian Garlic Chicken

I keep making this over and over.  Based on a French recipe, it’s incredibly rich and flavorful.  The mushrooms reference the flora of shady Salikawood.  When paired with good wine and good bread, it’s a feast worth serving to friends.

Costa Del Sol Beach Burgers

I’m a San Diego native, and a lot of my recipes are local in flavor.  I tend to think of Costa del Sol as a stand-in for my region.  Of all my Costa del Sol recipes, this is my favorite.  Whether you use a grill, or opt for a faster version on the stove, these burgers always come out better than anything you could order from a beachside drive-thru.

The one-year anniversary of this blog is coming up soon.  I’d like to challenge my readers to create your own Final Fantasy recipes!  Send them to me at ffrecipes@gmail.com.  The contest ends February 15, 2011.  I’ll pick my favorite and publish the winner on March 1st.

Happy cooking!