White Chicken Chili

It has been a crazy week.  Back to school.  Back to activities.  Back to the grind of everyday life.  Add in the change of seasons and trying to adjust to the suddenly chilly weather we’ve had these last few days and this lady is ready for something easy to throw together in the kitchen.  Something warm and comforting.  Something homey.  Something like…

Chili.  When the weather gets colder I think it’s probably one of the first things we all start thinking about making again.  There are a million different ways to make it and not a one of them is wrong.  I’ve made two different kinds in the last week.  This one, my White Chicken Chili, and also a more traditional, ground beef chili.

I love this recipe because it’s quick, easy, and economical.  It is the perfect way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken.  Every time we get one from the grocery store we always have tons leftover (usually all the dark meat), which is perfect for throwing into soup.   Everyone in my house (besides my eight year old who does not eat anything that does not consist solely of bread and cheese) loves this chili.  Let’s face it, my family will eat anything that can be devoured by way of tortilla chip so this works out very well.

Let’s get started.

First, chop up a large onion.

Throw your onions into a large pot over Med-High heat with 2 tsp of butter and saute until soft.

This next part’s gonna go quickly so pay attention.  Here are the major flavor players in your chili.  Lime juice, garlic, fire-roasted green chiles, Cayenne Pepper, Ancho Chili Powder, Cumin, Ground Coriander, and of course, Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

Add2 tsp garlic (four cloves, minced, if you’re feeling more ambitious than I was yesterday) and all the spices to the onions and toast for just a minute until they become fragrant.  Then add in 2 Tbsp lime juice, the whole can of chiles…

…4 cups of chicken broth, and 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed.    I use bouillon to make broth most of the time.  It takes up less space than cans!  Excuses…sigh.  I know.  Anyway.  We’ll get to the Masa, chicken, and cilantro in just a minute.  (I didn’t exactly plan on blogging this until I was already making it in case you couldn’t already tell.)

But wait, why are there two cans of beans???  Glad you asked!  When you drain and rinse your beans leave half of them in the strainer and mash them up into a thick paste.  You’re going to throw them in like that and they will break down even further as they cook.  This way your chili is not only thicker but has twice the antioxidants and good-for-you-ness of the beans without being super beany!

My spell checker says “beany” is not a word.  I disagree.

So now we’ve added our broth, lime juice, chiles, beans, spices, and garlic to our onions.  We’re gonna let that come back up to a simmer, turn the heat down to low, cover it partially, and walk away for the next 20 minutes.

In that time we’ll get our fixins together!  Here I have shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and some slices of ripe avocado.  Mmm.

Beware, putting the chips on the table before dinner is ready is a bona fide invitation to the kids to come eat chips before dinner is ready.  “I eatin’ chips mom!”

Now let’s grab that cilantro and chop it up.  You’ll need 1/4 cup for the soup and then more if you want some for garnish.

And lastly, grab your bag of Masa (corn flour found in the Latino section of the supermarket).  Mix 1/4 cup Masa with 1/2 cup of water.  Doesn’t that look appetizing…

There it is all mixed up looking…still not so appetizing.  I promise there is a reason for this.

Mix in the chopped cilantro, the chicken, and the Masa slurry.  The Masa will give the chili a real nice texture as well as make it a lot easier for little people to eat without spilling it all over themselves.  Now, just heat it for a minute to get it back up to steamy hot.

And serve.  This is how I like mine.  But you can do yours however you like.  That’s the beauty of chili.  That and the fact that it’s even better the next day.  It’s spicy and hearty, bright with lime and cilantro.  A little bit smoky with the Ancho Chili Powder.  It has so many different flavor notes – probably why of all the Chicken Chilis I’ve ever had this is my favorite.  Snuggle up and enjoy.

White Chicken Chili

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander

1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

4 cups chicken broth

2 Tbsp lime juice

1 (4oz) can Diced Green Chiles

1/2 Rotisserie Chicken, skin removed and meat shredded (dark meat or white/dark mix)

2 (14.5oz) cans white beans

1/4 cup Masa (corn flour)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish if desired

Optional toppings:

Sour Cream

Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded

Avocado, sliced

Tortilla Chips


Drain and rinse white beans.  Mash half the beans with a fork.  Set aside.

Preheat a large pot over Med-High heat.  Add two Tbsp butter and the chopped onions.  Saute until soft.

Add garlic and spices to onions and cook for one minute.

Add entire can of green chiles, lime juice, chicken broth, and all the beans (whole and mashed).  Bring chili up to a simmer, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine Masa with 1/2 cup water.

Add chicken, cilantro, and Masa slurry to chili and simmer until heated through.

Serve hot with optional toppings.

Makes 6 cups.




Filed under Soups

2 responses to “White Chicken Chili

  1. I think this looks and sounds gorgeous – perfect for the autumn. And beany MUST be a real word, at least I think so!

  2. This looks great. Even I might give it a go with my limited culinary abilities! Anything chilli’d or curried goes down well with me, I’m afraid. And just the thing here in the high hills in winter, I’d say.

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