White bean and chicken chili

When you think of chili you may envision beef, black beans, and tomatoes combining to give an array of colors tempting to the eye and palate.  Don’t let the fact that this is a white bean and chicken chili lull you into the false thinking that the bland appearance equals a bland chili. It is a myth that only the traditional beef chili can be a firehouse chili. This white chicken chili really packs a punch in the heat department and it can take on any chili out there when it comes to determining the hottest chili.

Ingredients for the chili

3 cans of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of low salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of chopped onions
3 minced jalapeno peppers
1 4 ounce can of chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 cups of shredded cooked chicken breast


1. In a large, heavy kettle combine the beans with the chicken broth and heat gently over a low heat while you prepare the other ingredients.

2. In a small skillet heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until light brown then add the onions and cook until soft.

3. Remove the garlic and onions from the heat and add in the chilies, jalapenos, and seasoning.

4. Add the chicken to the onion mixture and toss well to coat the chicken.

5. Add the chicken mixture to the beans.

6. Stir gently to mix well.

7. Cook the chili over a medium heat for 15 minute. Do not allow it to boil as you do not want to scorch the beans.

8. Remove from heat and serve with garnishes.

Many people who are used to beef chili can be put off by the thinness of the broth of a white chili. Although this chili isn’t as soupy as some white chili recipes, if you like a thicker chili you can puree one of the cans of beans before adding it to the pot.

My family goes by the motto the hotter the better, but if you find that the heat of this chili is more than you are can handle some easy substitutions can be made to bring the heat factor down a notch or two. Instead of adding minced jalapeno peppers to the recipe use two cans of the chopped green chilies and either cut down on the cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.

Ingredients for garnish

Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Sliced jalapenos
Chopped tomatoes
Sliced black olives
Chopped green onions

This chili is good made a day or two in advance as it allows the spices to thoroughly blend. Reheat the chili as needed and serve with your favorite garnishes.


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