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White Chili

This is a tasty chili that will feed a crowd. Plan ahead because you need to soak the beans.

  • 1 pound Great Northern white beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts (2 large half breasts are about 2 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 4oz. cans chopped mild green chiles
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. each of  cumin, and dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded and divided
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  1. Place beans in a large, heavy pot. Add enough cold water to cover by at least 3 inches. 
  2. Cover and soak overnight.
  3. Spread a little butter on the skin of each half breast of chicken and season it. 
  4. Place on shallow pan and roast in 375 degree oven till cooked through. 
  5. Let cool. 
  6. Remove skin and bones and cut chicken into cubes.
  7. Drain beans into large colander. 
  8. Heat oil in same pot. 
  9. Add onions and saute over medium-low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. 
  10. Stir in garlic, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne. 
  11. Saute 2 minutes. 
  12. Add beans and stock. 
  13. Bring to a boil. 
  14. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 hours. 
  15. Add additional water or broth if necessary (Can be prepared 1 day ahead). 
  16. When you are ready to finish the chili cover and bring to a simmer before continuing 
  17. Add chicken and 1 cup of cheese. 
  18. Stir until cheese melts. 
  19. Ladle chili into bowls. 
  20. Serve with remaining cheese, sour cream, salsa and cilantro leaves to sprinkle on top.

Of course it’s up to you which of these additional ingredients you add to your chili.
We also like to serve this with some warm cornbread.
Serves twelve to fourteen…


  1. This would also be good in the crockpot....Sounds yummy!

  2. Ellen, this looks so tasty! I must go and get some white beans!

  3. Ellen, this looks so tasty! I must go and get some white beans!

  4. This looks like a wonderful weekend you cook on Friday and 'nosh' on all weekend.

  5. This is one of my favorite soups!!
    Thank you as always for making dishes we all can enjoy!

  6. I think you should tell us the amount of beans to use. My math said 2.25 cups dry beans. That was way too much liquid for that amount of beans :-)

  7. I made this for a Chili Cook Off at church today and won first place! I love this Chili!

  8. I am in the midst of preparing this dish after my sister told me about it last week. I roasted my chicken last night with olive oil and salt and pepper and put the whole roasting pan in the fridge overnight. This morning, after I picked the chicken, I used all of the drippings from the pan and the bones and the skin from the chicken to make my own stock. I added carrots, celery, cilantro, onions, garlic, and a couple bay leaves and let it simmer for about four hours. Just now, I strained it right into my pot over my beans, chiles, and spices. It smells and looks delicious so far. I hope it all turns out! I can't wait for a bowl of this and warm corn bread tonight. Incidentally, I'm also serving it with a great "Southwest" salad my mom makes...romaine lettuce, kidney beans (rinsed and drained), chile peppers (drained), onions, cheddar cheese,and crushed up Fritos on top with Ranch dressing.

  9. I'm sure it is going to be wonderful. Enjoy. I wish I was coming over for dinner! :0)

  10. Beautiful cover photo! The picture says it all. We give thanks at the table for our food and celebrate it with family. I can't wait for your next book!!!


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