the white queen of chili

I shouldn’t write when I’m tired! I was rushing to get the last post out because I didn’t want to forget what happened at last Saturday’s class. Not my best writing!

Normally I don’t try new recipes in mid-week but I needed to do something different. Sometimes you just have to mix it up!  It’s also an America’s Test Kitchen recipe so I can trust it to work. Because there are many ingredients and there is much cutting and chopping, I recommend prepping all ingredients before cooking. At the French Culinary Institute they call this mis en place literally “put in place.” Somehow I skipped over the garlic (imagine that! And me a garlic lover!) and had to pause the process to chop up some garlic. This recipe took about 1 1/2 hours from prepping to finish–the chicken breast version, mind you.

This white chicken chili  is a tasty recipe but I warn you, it’s hot! You can tone it down by eliminating the seeds and veins of the chilies. Oh, and if you can’t find Anaheim chilies (I couldn’t) then add an extra jalapeño and poblano chili to the ingredients, or be brave and add 3 Thai chili peppers, as I did! I served it with roasted vegetables and low-fat cornbread from a recipe on .

White Chicken Chili

2 1/2 – 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves , trimmed of excess fat and skin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 poblano chilies (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
3 Anaheim chili peppers (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces (I substituted 3 whole Thai chili peppers)
2 medium onions , cut into large pieces (2 cups)
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
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, in food processor, process half of poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions until consistency of chunky salsa, ten to twelve 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of workbowl halfway through. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions; combine with first batch (do not wash food processor blade or workbowl).

3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. (I had very lean chicken breasts so there was only a tablespoon of liquid in the pan.) Add 1/2 the minced jalapeños, chili-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, Thai chili peppers if using, and chicken breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken registers 160 degrees (175 degrees if using thighs) on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes (40 minutes if using thighs).

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. When cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes), 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. Taste. In my first mouthful I detected the full flavor of the chilies, the fresh taste of cilantro and the tartness of lime juice, so, no,  it didn’t need salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if you like.  Serve. I roasted vegetables so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat more than two pieces of cornbread, which keeps the carb intake low!

In another post will be the recipe for low-fat cornbread.

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