Wednesday, October 1

White Chicken Chili

A healthy and hearty soup made of chicken, chiles, and white beans

White Chicken Chili

Early fall is chile season. Every year, there is a special pop-up vendor at one of our local farmers' markets that sells bags of roasted poblanos, anaheims, and jalapeños, and it makes the whole market smell like fire and charred peppers. I always buy a few bags since the leftovers hold up really well in the freezer. Since it's unlikely that you'll be able to buy chiles pre-roasted for this recipe, I've included directions for how to easily do it at home. Go to the trouble of making a big batch so that you can always have some on hand to add to salsas, stir-frys, soups, and more.

This white chicken chili is healthier and more brothy than most chilis, but it's packed full of tender chunks of white meat chicken, cannelloni beans, and the roasted chiles, and it makes a satisfying one-pot meal. I like to garnish my bowls with sliced avocado and serve a cheese quesadilla on the side for dipping (like a southwestern take on the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese), but feel free to customize the garnishes. Sour cream, grated cheese, and crispy tortilla strips would all be good additions.

Related Recipes:
- Turkey Chili
- Grilled Chicken Chili
- Mexican Turkey Tortilla Soup

White Chicken Chili:
  • Roast the chiles. Place 1 poblano pepper and 3 anaheim chiles directly over a gas burner on your oven, on a gas grill, or on a sheet pan under a broiler. Char the chiles, turning once, until the skins are black. Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 5 minutes, then rub off the skins and discard the stems and seeds.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  • Add in 1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chicken until browned on the outside, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • Turn down the heat to medium and add in 1 diced onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soft.
  • Add in 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp. ground cumin, and 1 tsp. ground coriander and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Dice the roasted chiles and add them in, along with the chicken and 3 c. low-sodium chicken broth. Add in a big pinch of salt.
  • Bring the chili to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse 1 can of cannelloni beans and mash half with a little bit of chicken broth into a paste. Add the mashed beans and the remaining whole beans to the chili and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the juice of 1 lime. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • To serve, ladle the chile into bowls and top with fresh cilantro leaves and sliced avocado.

Serves four-five
Chili will keep (without garnishes) in the fridge for several days. Reheat before serving.