This dairy free, corn free, gluten free (In fact it is free of all top 9 food allergens!) recipe uses fresh chilis: Poblanos, Anaheims and Jalapeños.  If you are not a fan of spicy foods, remove both the seeds and the ribs from the peppers.  You will have a wonderful flavor with virtually no spice.  (Like spice? – read on . . .)

The problem is that removing all those ribs from about 12 peppers is time consuming!  So it taking the chicken off the bone and chopping it up after it cooks in this recipe.  But it is worth it!

I would make this tasty chili every month if it were not so much work.  Those of you who follow me know that I usually bring you simple or easy recipes.  Not this one, at least if you want milder chili.

If I did not like this recipe so much, I would never do it.  But I think it is so good, that a couple of times a year, I brave the peppers and chicken.

When I make this recipe I make a large amount so I can enjoy it several times before I have to make it again.  I freeze the leftovers.  

The first time you make it you may want to reduce the amount – you will also reduce the work!

This recipe is modified from White Chicken Chili in The Best Make-Ahead Recipe Book by Cook’s Illustrated.  But why they call it White Chicken Chili is anyone’s guess. – it is most certainly green.  I have been making it for at least 6 years and it is always green!

Want a spicier chili?   Leave in the ribs on the peppers and save yourself a boatload of time.  If you want mild versions for some people and spicier for others, I suggest you make it mild and add heat in your garnishes – like jalapeños with ribs or hot sauce.

Ingredients

  • Peppers:  Poblano, Anaheim and Jalapeño 
  • I have been known to vary the number of peppers slightly.  If you like spice you can save a LOT of time by just removing the seeds and not the ribs.
  • Chicken – I use thighs.  The original recipe calls for breasts.  Thighs were cheaper so that’s what I used.  I often have chicken meat left over after I add some back to the chili.  If I do, I freeze it and use it in chicken tacos or burritos.  Using chicken with bones will make the broth richer.  
  • Cook’s Illustrated also recommended browning the chicken then discarding the skin then using the fond in the chili.  For some recipes this would be an important step in adding flavor.  In this recipe, there are so many peppers,  chicken broth, chicken bones and garnishes, you will not miss browning the chicken skin and then throwing it away.  Trust me.  (I just saved you 20+minutes. – you’re welcome – you will need it to cut peppers!!)
  • Chicken broth – this is one place where you do not have to use your best chicken broth.  The one that turned out a little weak is just fine.  So is store bought (if you can use it).  
  • White beans – I use great northern, but any canned white bean will do.
  • Onions or shallots and garlic
  • Cumin
  • Lime juice
  • Garnishes:  chopped avocado, chopped scallions, minced jalapeños, chopped fresh oregano, sour cream, chopped cilantro, etc etc

Equipment

  • Rubber gloves are ESSENTIAL.  A couple of years ago I tried to make this without rubber gloves.  I had chopped hot peppers before without rubber gloves.  This volume of rubber gloves made my hands a hot, burning mess.  Soap would not remove the residue.  Thankfully rubbing cooking oil into my hands, followed by soap and water and repeating the process did the trick.  I do not want you to experience that pain.  Use rubber gloves.  I did not use fancy rubber gloves.  I used awkward food service gloves and I ended up needing two pairs, but they saved my hands.  Use the gloves! 
  • Food processor saves a lot of time chopping.  You can coarsely chop the peppers and onions and let the food processor do the heavy chopping.  Plus you will puree a cup of beans, chicken broth and sautéed peppers to thicken the chili.

How To

Prepare the peppers:

There are many methods for preparing peppers – here is mine in case it helps.  

  • Don gloves – do not skip this step.
  • Cut the end off the pepper.
  • With your knife, go around the core (it is usually attached at two or more points at the top.) 
  • Cut the pepper in half.
  • Most of the seeds & core will be in the top half.  Slice each half top to bottom and remove the core and seeds.  Slice the bottom in half.  
  • Remove the white ribs that run from top to bottom in the pepper.  You may find it easier to slice the pepper right next to the rib and then cut it off.  You can just remove the white part.  The colored part underneath will not be hot.
  • It is easier to do this on the poblanos and Anaheim peppers.  Save the jalapeños for last.  You will have lots of practice on the other two.
  • Put on your favorite podcast or music and cut away!
  • Roughly chop the peppers and onions.  

You can prepare the peppers a day or two ahead.  Store them in a bag in the refrigerator.  Do not store in a plastic container.  If you do not use a disposable bag, store in glass.

Place them in two to three batches in food processor.  Pulse 10-15 times until coarsely chopped. 

Put about a tablespoon of oil in pot.  Add the coarsely chopped peppers and onion.  After all the peppers and onions have been processed, sauté on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  

When you begin to sauté the peppers, use a garlic press or mince the garlic.  Place it  into the pot.  Cook until the peppers, onions and garlic are softened about 10-15 minutes.  Add the cumin the last 5 minutes or so.

Remove about one cup of the chili mixture and process it with one cup of beans and one cup of chicken broth.  Process until relatively smooth.  Place in the pot.

Add the chicken and the chicken broth to the pot. If you are using frozen broth, place it in the pot to thaw before adding chicken.  Add chicken when the broth is thawed.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, partially covered.  Check the temperature on the chicken.  It should register over 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the pot and add the beans.  While the bean warm up, chop the chicken.  

If you are making this ahead, after removing the chicken from the pot, add the beans and cool the pot in a sink full of cold water.  Put the chicken in the refrigerator.  I find the chicken much easier to chop when cold.

I find I always have more chicken than I want to add back to this chili.  That is ok with me because it makes good tacos or burrito bowls.  I freeze it until ready to use.

Add chicken to the pot and warm.  Serve with yummy garnishes!  Enjoy!

Healthy White Chicken Chili

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Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 330 kcal

Equipment

  • rubber gloves
  • food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 5 pounds chicken thighs or breast with bones and skin
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4-5 poblano chilis
  • 4-5 anaheim chilis
  • 3 jalapenos plus more for garnish
  • 3 medium onions or shallots
  • 9 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 5 15 ounce cans great northern beans or other white beans
  • 12 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice

Garnishes

  • avocados
  • scallions
  • lime wedges
  • minced jalapenos
  • minced fresh oregano
  • minced chilantro

Instructions
 

Prepare the peppers - There are many methods for preparing peppers - here is mine. 

  • Don gloves - do not skip this step.
  • Cut the end off the pepper.
  • With your knife, go around the core (it is usually attached at two or more points at the top.) 
  • Cut the pepper in half around the middle.
  • Most of the seeds & core will be in the top half.  Slice each half top to bottom and remove the core and seeds.  Slice the bottom in half.
  • Remove the white ribs that run from top to bottom in the pepper.  You may find it easier to slice the pepper right next to the rib and then cut it off.  You can just remove the white part.  The colored part underneath will not be hot.
  • It is easier to do this on the poblanos and Anaheim peppers.  Save the jalapeños for last.  You will have lots of practice on the other two.
  • Roughly chop the peppers and onions.  
  • Place them in two to three batches in food processor.  Pulse 10-15 times until the consistency of chunky salsa.

Cook the Chili

  • Put about a tablespoon of oil in pot.  Add the processed. peppers and onion.
  • Saute on medium heat until the vegetables are softened about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  
  • As soon as you begin to saute the peppers, use a garlic press or mince the garlic.  Place it  into the pot. 
  • Add the cumin the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove about one cup of the chili mixture and process it with one cup of beans and one cup of chicken broth.  Process until relatively smooth.  Place in the pot.
  • Add the chicken and the chicken broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, partially covered.  
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and add the beans.  While the bean warm up, chop the chicken.  *
  • If you are making this ahead, after removing the chicken from the pot, add the beans and cool the pot in a sink full of cold water.  Put the chicken in the refrigerator.  I find the chicken much easier to chop when cold.
  • Add chicken to the pot and warm.  Serve with yummy garnishes! 
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*I find I always have more chicken than I want to add back to this chili.  That is ok with me because it makes good tacos or burrito bowls.  I freeze it until ready to use.
Modified from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated, American's Test Kitchens, Brookline Massachusetts 2007, 

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 24gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 195mgPotassium: 520mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 247IUVitamin C: 32mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 6µgCalcium: 38mgFolate: 13µgIron: 2mgZinc: 2mg
Keyword dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free
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