Chicken Green Chili with White Beans

Winter blew into central Virginia today.  I and do mean “blew.”  It was super windy and pretty darn cold today.  The cold plus a weekend of NFL playoffs equals chili!  I’m always looking for a new chili recipe and today I found a good one.  It’s a little soupier than most of my chili recipes, but it has enough heat to it to qualify.  And it’s a Cooking Light recipe so no guilt here!  I’m also trying to dissuade a cold from taking up residence so the chicken stock and lime juice (and a bourbon on the side) might do the trick.

I made a few adjustments to the recipe as per usual.  I used 4 Anaheim chiles instead of 6.  I substituted 1/2 can of white beans pureed for 1/2 of the flour and water slurry.  I put a rub of salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, lime zest and olive oil on two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and roasted them in the oven.  I topped the finished chili with plain Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lime juice.  All improvements as far as I’m concerned. 

Here’s the thing.  This is really good chili.  Here’s the “but.”  Between roasting the chicken, roasting and peeling the peppers and doing the rest of the stuff this took me about 90 minutes start to finish. I was reminded how much I hate roasting and peeling chiles.  Next time I’ll probably just throw in some salsa verde, mine or store bought, and call it a day.   The flavor of the chicken was terrific.  The lime added a nice brightness to it and since I did it myself I could control the salt.  That said, if you want to make this and you’re pressed for time just pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store and use that.  If you use all the shortcuts:  salsa verde, rotisserie chicken and pre-chopped onion, you could pull this together in thirty minutes or less.  Not to sound all Rachel Ray about it.

One of the best things about this chili  is the chiles.  The roasted Anaheim chiles add some char to the flavor and some very nice heat.  The heat is all in the back of the throat so it doesn’t fry your tastebuds.  If you want a little extra heat add some chopped jalapenos to the garlic and onions when you saute them or serve some crushed red chiles on the side.  But don’t forget the yogurt, or sour cream if you prefer.  That adds a tanginess that really rounds out the flavor.

The recipe makes 4-6 main dish servings so if you’re making it for a crowd, like maybe a football watching crowd, you’ll either want to double it or you’ll want to offer more than one kind of chili.  I had dinner tonight and enough leftover to fill this fabulous Pyrex dish!

Good? Very.
Easy? Not the way I did it, but there’s certainly an easier approach.
Good for company? Absolutely.
Special shopping? Not really. Anaheim chiles are easy to find in any grocery store produce section.

Chicken Green Chili with White Beans


2 large chicken breasts, roasted bone-in, skin-on
1 tsp each salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, olive oil
zest of 1 lime
4 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 3/4 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained and divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Plain Greek yogurt and lime slices for garnish


Add spices, oil and zest together to form a paste. Rub the paste under the chicken skin and all over the chicken. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. Let rest 10-15 minutes. Remove the skin. Remove the chicken from the bones and chop or shred it.
Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic. Saute 3-4 minutes. Add broth, 1 C of water, cumin, chopped chiles, 1 can of beans and chopped chicken.
Add 1/2 can of beans to a blender or food processor with a little broth and process until smooth. Stir bean puree into the chili pot.
Bring chili to a simmer. Whisk flour into remaining 1/3 C of water to make a slurry. Pour slurry slowly into chili, stirring constantly. Let the chili simmer until it thickens slightly.
Spoon yogurt onto each serving and serve with a lime slice.


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