White Bean Chicken Chili.
Voted by the Friends of Idiot’s Kitchen over on Facebook over a recipe for cookies.
Really? What’s wrong with you people?
I kid, I kid. Honestly this chili is so good and easy to make, it deserves to come first.
I totally get it. It’s fall almost everywhere except Florida. Football season. Walks on crunchy autumn leaves. You’ll need a hearty bowl of this chili after all that.
The bonus? It’s made with dried beans – no need to pre-soak or any of that nonsense – so it’s also easy on the wallet.
Here’s what you need:
Chicken, Great Northern Beans, Onion, Garlic, Jalapeno Pepper, Chicken Broth, Olive Oil, Diced Green Chilies, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt & Pepper.
Cheese, Sour Cream, Cilantro or Parsley for a garnish (not shown).
To be honest, this recipe changes every time I make it. I usually add celery. Sometimes a bell pepper or two. Carrots? Why not. But this is the recipe in its most basic and delicious form. Feel free to customize to your taste or what is in the fridge.
Chop up one large onion.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onion and cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft and golden but not browned.
Chop up about 5 big cloves of garlic and add them to the pot after the onions have had a few minutes head start.
Grab a 1 pound bag of White Beans like Great Northern Beans. Rinse the beans under running water and sift through them to be sure there are no sticks or non-bean items in the batch.
Add 6 cups of Chicken Broth – either homemade or low-sodium store bought – to the pot and dump in the rinsed beans.
This recipe calls for 8 cups of broth total. Set aside the other 2 cups to add later.
Add 2 little cans (4.5 ounces each) of chopped green chilies. I love these chilies because they have tons of flavor without adding a lot of heat. In fact, they’re really not spicy at all….thus the jalapeno to come later.
So, we have onions, garlic, beans, chilies, and chicken broth in our pan….
bring the broth up to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for at least an hour.
While the beans cook, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
For this recipe, I prefer to roast the chicken on the bone in the oven rather than boiling it with the soup. It gives the chicken more flavor and also helps it to have a better (non-rubbery) texture. I’m using 2 chicken breasts halves. Legs or thighs would also be good choices if you prefer dark meat.
Drizzle the chicken with a bit of olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper. Bake the chicken at 375 degrees for about 4o minutes until golden brown and the juices run clear.
Set the cooked chicken aside to cool. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat and also makes shredding easier on the fingers.
After the beans have cooked for an hour or so, it’s time to add the next layer of ingredients.
For a little kick, chop up one (or two) jalapeno peppers.
If you like things spicy, go ahead and leave the seeds in there. However, if you’re like me and you like flavor and a little heat, remove the seeds and inner pithy membranes and just use the outer dark green part of the chili. All of the flavor is in the green part and almost all of the heat is in the seeds.
Remove the skin from the chicken, pull the meat away from the bones, and shred the meat with your fingers.
For some reason my chicken looks very pink in this picture. I assure you it was well cooked through.
Add the chicken and the chopped jalapeno to the pot of beans.
For some extra flavor, add at 1 heaping Tablespoon of Chili Powder and 1 Tablespoon of Cumin. Season with a teaspoon each of salt & pepper. You can taste later and adjust the seasonings.
You can use whatever brand of seasonings you have on hand but I thought I’d show you this. I love it.
No this isn’t an ad. No one is paying me to say this. I just really like the Tastefully Simple Wahoo! Chili blend. It’s yummy. And it has the word Wahoo in the title.
I very rarely buy things from those house party sales (candles, tupperware, kitchen stuff, expensive jewelry), but I’m totally addicted to this chili seasoning. Luckily my sister sends me a couple of jars every now and then from our friend Suzanne.
Back to the chili, add the last 2 cups of chicken broth. Make sure that it is still simmering along nicely, put the lid back on and cook for at least another hour.
Drop by the pot and stir occasionally to be sure nothing is sticking.
The chili is done when the beans are soft and no longer have any “bite” to them. I leave the lid off for about the last 30 minutes of cooking to let the broth thicken just a bit. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings if you need more salt, pepper, or chili powder.
Ladle out a big bowl and top it with cheese, sour cream, cilantro or whatever you like.
Get out there. Go for a walk on crunchy autumn leaves. Go apple picking. Make chili. Enjoy the fall.
Here’s the recipe: