White Bean and Chicken Chili Recipe | Leite's Culinaria » Print

White Bean and Chicken Chili

There’s something really satisfying about cooking a nice pot of chili. As much as I love traditional red chili with tomatoes and chili powder, I also love a good white one with white beans and lots of cumin. Mine is full of vegetables and has a nice smoky flavor from the bacon. I love having my boys gather at the counter and help measure out all of the vegetables. Enjoy with skillet corn bread or cheesy garlic toast and a simple green salad.–Jenny Flake

LC Chili Fixin’s Note

A squeeze of lime. A flurry of diced avocado. A dollop of sour cream. A handful of tortilla chips. Whatever your usual chili fixin’s, they’re welcome here, too, though this is hardly a traditional chili. It’s quite a lot soupier, a little smokier, and, in some ways, subtler than most chilis. It’s sorta a soupy Mexican stew, actually though we daren’t call it such because we can’t recall ever seeing bacon in a recipe for Mexican soup. But you get the idea. If you crave a thicker, more chili-like chili, reduce the amount of broth to 3 cups and, if you desire, mash some of the beans with the back of a fork prior to adding them to the pot.

White Bean and Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 6 ounces pearl onions, peeled, or 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup peeled, shredded carrots (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (optional)
  • 1 Anaheim, poblano, or jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely diced, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans (any kind), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 1. Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, turning once or twice, until browned and crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve 3 tablespoons drippings in the pot. When the bacon has cooled enough to handle, crumble it into pretty small pieces.
  • 2. Heat the reserved bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, if using, and chile pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • 3. Add the crumbled bacon, stock or broth, chicken, beans, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes before serving.
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