Chicken chili was on the menu in September when we had a cold snap, and I was working on the recipe. Sometimes you just want something hot and filling, thick and richly flavored, a stick to your ribs kind of meal. The best news for my gluten-free readers is you can eat this! I didn’t do anything special, the recipe is naturally gluten free, thickened by pureeing some of the beans. The green chilies are mild, yet full of flavor. There is an axiom among chili enthusiasts that “if you know beans about chili, you know chili has no beans.” But I am going to say it doesn’t apply to chicken chili, right?
Economical too, it starts the night before with dried white beans. I like the Great Northern beans for this as they let the chicken flavor shine. Place the dried beans in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Don’t use your cooking pot for soaking, it will impart a metallic taste.
Cover the bowl and let the beans soak until the next day.
Drain the beans, and put back in the pot. Add onion and black pepper.
Cover with water and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until tender. Do not add any salt at this time as it will make the bean skins tough.
When the beans are done, drain beans and return to pot. In a blender, place half a can of low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth and about half the beans.
Blend until smooth, and add to beans in pot.
With the remaining broth, blend with green chilies and add to pot.
Bring heat up to medium to return to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and chicken, saute on high heat until lightly browned, turning chicken as needed. Don’t move it around too much, developing good browning and flavor takes a bit of time. The chicken starting to stick to the pan makes the best fond. Any boneless chicken will do here, white meat tenders or boneless thighs, or a mixture of both.
The better the chicken is browned, the more flavor the dish will have, so take your time with this part.
When nicely browned, add chicken-onion mixture to beans. Chicken will not be done, but will finish cooking in the soup.
Add salt and pepper. Simmer soup for 15 minutes more to be sure the chicken is cooked through. It can hold on low heat for an hour or more after that.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or sour cream if desired.
If you like your chili spicier, add a few drops of hot sauce, or some dried red pepper flakes to the final simmer.
Thick and creamy, without any flour. Gluten Free!
But if you can have bread, it is lovely to add a piece of garlic bread, or a thick slice of French sourdough. Yum!
It is so good, I made it again just last week. Of course, I had to be sure the recipe was right. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
Tasty the next day as well, just a cup finished it off for lunch.
2 cups dried great northern beans
1 thick slice of onion,separated into rings
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 4-ounce can green chilies
1 15-ounce can chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
16 ounces boneless chicken,cut into bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional – few sprigs of fresh parsley
Optional – dollop of sour cream
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add beans and boil 2 minutes. Pour into a stoneware or glass bowl, cover and leave overnight to soak on the counter.
The next day, drain beans. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Add onion, garlic and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2-2 hours. Do not add any salt at this time as it will make the bean skins tough. Drain beans and return to pot. In a blender, place half the can of broth and about half the beans and blend until smooth. Pour over beans in pot. With the remaining broth, blend with green chilies and add to pot.
In a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and chicken, saute on high heat until lightly browned, turning chicken as needed. When nicely browned, add to beans. Chicken will not be done, but will finish cooking in the soup. Add salt and pepper. Simmer soup for 15 minutes more, then it can hold on low heat for an hour or more. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or sour cream if desired. Enjoy! (update – serves 8 right away, or 4 large servings, or 2 with leftovers)
Download a pdf of the recipe – Chicken Chili
Do you enjoy a bowl of chili on a cold day? Ever had a Chicken Chili?