Chili Season

Saturday was our annual Tree Cutting Party, where friends and family gather at a farm in Connecticut to eat, drink, chop and be merry - all in the spirit of Christmas.  Saturday was 40° with a wintery mix - what I consider prime chili weather.  We had about four different kinds of chili - turkey, beef, veggie, and three bean. Time to add one more to the mix - a family favorite. Lighter and healthier than it's other chili cousins, it's great as a mid-week lunch or dinner. Save time by shredding a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery rather than roasting your own. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

White Chicken Chili: Adapted from Cooks Illustrated's Recipe

Ingredients: Serves 6 to 8. 
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 jalapeño chiles
  • 3 poblano chiles, cut into large pieces
  • 3 red peppers, cut into large pieces
  • 2 onions , cut into large pieces 
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 14.5oz. cans cannelli beans , drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  •  tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 scallions , white and light green parts sliced thin


  1.  Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and lightly brown on other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; remove and discard skin.
  2. While chicken is browning, remove and discard ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeños; mince flesh. In food processor, process the poblano chiles, red peppers and onions until consistency of chunky salsa.
  3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. Add minced jalapeños, chile-onion mixture, garlic, cumin, coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
  4. Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now-empty food processor workbowl. Add 1 cup beans and 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add vegetable-bean mixture, remaining 2 cups broth, and chicken breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Stir in remaining beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are heated through and chili has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
  6. Mince remaining jalapeño, reserving and mincing ribs and seeds, and set aside. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding bones. Stir shredded chicken, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and remaining minced jalapeño (with seeds if desired) into chili and return to simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Have fun with your garnishes - I like to serve it with shredded monteray jack cheese and a squeeze of lime. Other ideas: sour cream, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, red onion or scallions.

    - The Heat


The Heat said...

Comment section is back up and running! Apologies.

Anonymous said...

the chickens look like they're hangin out in a hot tub! Recipe sounds delicious! Your biggest fan!

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