white bean chicken chili recipe

back to basics with a twist ::::

I made this chili before Sky-Girl was born to freeze for easy meals once I was home with her. We actually ate most of it before she was born (early, at that!) so a paltry amount was actually stored away. After Sky-Girl was born, my mother-in-law packed the freezer full of other foods, and the chili was shoved to the back, but not forgotten. She was the one that originally gave me a version of this recipe, calling it “Caucasians’ chili.” A friend had passed it to her; I’m not sure the translation of ‘white’ to ‘Caucasian’ is quite right here. It made me pause all the same, considering that perhaps beef- and tomato-laden chili should be tagged ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino.’  Asian chili? African?

Whatever ethnicity or racial profile this dish encompasses, this is a great dish for a gestational diabetic diet, like mine when I first made it, heavy with protein. The kids liked it — the first time we ate it — but turned their noses up at the leftovers. Maybe not Asian enough for them. They’d rather be eating tripe, chicken feet, sesame noodles, and lots of rice.

Tex-mex isn’t a often frequented dinner cuisine in our house because of our love of everything Asian; it really is difficult to break the cycle of rice sometimes. I am thankful that the kids are open to new things, even if the familiar often wins out. Freezing the leftovers works well. If freezing this dish, I recommend leaving out the green onions. Use fresh when serving. A good cheat for cooked chicken is using a basic rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The meat will be salted already and juicy,whether you buy it at a ‘Caucasian’ store or otherwise.

One year ago: apricot oatcakes

Two years ago: hijiki salad


white bean chicken chili recipe
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans (or similar) - about 2½ cups
  • 2 pounds chicken, cooked (I used a mix of white and dark meat)
  • 1 quart chicken stock or canned low sodium broth
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 4-ounce cans of chopped green chiles (I think two is better)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • about 1 pound of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 5-6 cups)
  • salt and pepper (less salt if you are using chicken broth with salt in it already)
  • 3-4 jalapenos, halved, seeded, and chopped (if you want the hot spice)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  1. In a large pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and allow to soak overnight. Drain the beans, return to pot, and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and simmer until tender, about an hour. Drain the beans.
  2. Shred chicken and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook covered over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent.
  4. Add the chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the beans, chicken, stock, and 4 cups of the Monterey Jack cheese. This will look really thick at first; stir and the cheese will melt and the mixture will thin. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped green onions. Serve with remaining cheese and chopped jalapenos (if using).
Just a note on the cheese: Monterey Jack is pretty bland here, but it melts well. The chiles are really necessary to give the chili a little more oomph. If you don't like spicy, then revel in the cheesy, beany bland. This is a good meal for young children.


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