Friday, April 17, 2009

White Chicken Chili

When Jason and I were dating, every so often he'd invite me to dinner at his apartment - where he lived with three other guys.

Their dining room table was a ping-pong table. That should tell you something.

This was only slightly stranger than the fact that they had over a years worth of Wall Street Journals piled up behind the front door.

But, the most interesting thing about the guys' apartment was the tower of Krispy Kreme boxes piled up in the corner of their "dining room". I am not exaggerating in saying that there were over 30 boxes stacked in that corner. I am convinced that they survived solely on Krispy Kremes.

Well, Krispy Kremes. And, chili.

They were always making chili. Jason would sit on the sofa with a bowl of his latest creation and shake his head and say, "Man like chili. Chili good."

So, when I married him, I knew we'd be eating lots of chili. I make traditional ground beef chili, a delicious Spicy Black Bean and Corn Chicken Chili, and I recently developed this recipe for White Chicken Chili.

The star of this chili recipe is this little green guy.

I love spicy dishes, but I know that not everyone does. The great thing about a jalapeno is that you can reduce its "spiciness" in a dish, while still getting the great flavor from it, in any number of ways:

1. Only use half. Or a quarter. Or a tiny little piece.
2. Remove the seeds. Most of the "heat" comes from the seeds.
3. Chop it very, very finely.

But, since we love spicy chili, I use one whole jalapeno in this White Chicken Chili - with all of the seeds and I don't chop it as finely as I could. You, however, can adjust it to your liking or eliminate it altogether.

This chili is great all on its own.

But, add some Monterey Jack on top, then stir it all around, and man-oh-man, it's like butta.

Play with this one. Adjust it to your liking. And, enjoy!

White Chicken Chili
my own recipe...

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, optional
2 (7 ounce) cans diced chopped green chilis
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups or 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken stock
4 roasted chicken breasts, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can Cannellini beans
2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern beans
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, optional

Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauce pan. Cook onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes. Add green chiles, cumin, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken stock, chicken and beans. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Serve immediately. Top with cheese, if desired, and serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.

*Note: I usually make Chili Dip with leftover chili. It's a great dip for parties and makes a great appetizer.

To make Chili Dip: Combine 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and 4 ounces of sour cream in a small bowl. Spread in the bottom of an 8" x 8" baking dish and top with leftover chili. Top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil and store in refrigerator or freezer. When ready to eat, bring to room temperature and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chili is heated through. Serve with tortilla chips.


  1. you mean i'm not the only one in "blog world" who likes spicy food? everytime i look for a recipe - they seem so bland and i end up adding hot sauce to everything.. this looks delicious! i love white chickn chili

  2. Love the spice!! Will def be making this next week, before it gets too warm for chili!!

  3. I love white chicken chili and we like ours spicy. Your versions looks so good, as does the dip!

  4. If you chop the chili more, it will release more of the capsaicin. The more you chop it, the more cell walls you destroy, so it comes out more easily.

  5. I mean, that's at least what I thought.

    It's definitely true for garlic. (Though, that's not capsaicin.)

  6. Zane,

    I think you know something about everything. :)

    You know, I find that the finer I chop a jalapeno, the less likely I am to get a "large" bite of it and avoid an "OH DEAR LORD, where is my ice water?" freak-out and a runny nose. I've never noticed it "spicier" if I chop it more finely. I'll test it out, though.

  7. Mmmm. Woman like chili. Chili good.

  8. Ugh, that apartment was gross! But this chili looks great! :)

  9. White chili is so good!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  10. Hi Sarah, I just wanted to let you know that I send this recipe to my Mum and she made it.

    We had it this afternoon and it's really good! Thanks for all the recipes and delightful humor. You have a great blog.

  11. Thanks for the dip recipe! We're pretty attached to our white chili recipe, but I love the idea of making it into a dip, so I might try that next time I make it.

  12. oh and the dip recipe - yeah!!!

  13. I made your chili last night for supper. It was delicious! I chopped the jalapeno super finely, without the seeds, because I can't yet take the fire of larger chunks. We just started using fresh jalapeno a few months ago, after a tutorial on Pioneer Woman's blog.

    I did make two minor changes, though. I used dried beans instead of canned. I also added about 1/4 cup of heavy cream just before serving. Now, why would I do that? I did that because it was in my fridge and I needed to use it for something. This seemed like a good time to use it.

    My family gobbled it down and my munchkin had seconds later in the evening. So, I'd say it was a hit with the family. Thanks for the recipe!