With so many red chili recipes out there, this Creamy White Chicken Chili stands out in a class of its own! In fact, it has won more than one community chili cook-off and remains one of our favorite cold weather recipes of all time. This is comfort food personified!
One of the things I do to cope with the hustle and bustle of the holidays is to make recipes that are familiar and comforting. Things that don't require a lot of time standing at the stove. And ones that make large batches that can stretch for several meals.
This Creamy White Chicken Chili fits all of those descriptions. It starts out with a purchased rotisserie chicken which saves a huge amount of cooking time and the remaining prep work is minimal. Then you just let it simmer away at a low temperature while you're free to do other things.
And, it makes a large pot full of chili! Plenty for two or three meals for the two of us.
I've posted so many chili recipes for various types of chili - Black Bean Chili, Vegetable Chili, a White Bean Turkey Chili, and even my shortcut Chili-My Way. All those chilies have one thing in common - they're tomato based.
But in this Creamy White Chicken Chili, there's not a tomato in sight. It has a creamy, buttery, smooth base full of delicious, tender chicken and white beans. And it just may be our all-time favorite chili around here.
How to Make White Chicken Chili
Start with a purchased rotisserie chicken. Remove all the meat and shred or chop it and set it to the side.
Those little rotisserie chickens really have a lot of meat once you disassemble them, don't they? Discard the skin and bones. Or nibble on some of the crunchy bits if you're like me :-)
Then, in a large pot cook the chopped onion in butter until the onions are nice and soft. Remove them from the pot and set them aside for now.
In the same pot, melt the remaining butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for about three minutes.
Add the onions back to the pot. Gradually add the broth and the half and half, whisking all the while.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
The mixture will be nicely and obviously thickened. See how it clings to the spoon?
Then stir in the Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add the drained beans, chilies, chicken, cheese and milk.
Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! As a matter of fact it's even better when made ahead. The flavors have a chance to blend when refrigerated overnight and you won't believe how much better it is the second day!
I always offer a choice of toppings such as sliced avocado, chopped green onion, fresh cilantro, extra cheese, and jalapenos. And either crackers, tortillas, or cornbread are great accompaniments.
Make the recipe your own by adding in a little something extra like a can of drained, whole kernel corn, or a few chopped fresh jalapeno peppers. You could also tweak it with a bit of smoked paprika or cayenne.
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White Chicken Chili
- 1 rotisserie chicken skin and bones removed
- ½ cup butter divided
- 2 large onions chopped
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 16 ounces canned white beans great northern or cannellini, drained
- 8 ounces canned chopped mild green chilies drained
- 1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- Remove all the skin and bones from the rotisserie chicken and discard. Shred or chop the meat and set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the onion in 2 tblsp of butter until softened. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, melt remaining 6 tblsp of butter over moderately low heat and whisk in the flour.
- Cook, whisking constantly, for about three minutes.
- Stir in the onion.
- Gradually add the broth then the half and half, whisking the whole time.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. (It will be nicely and obviously thick.)
- Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Add beans, chilies, chicken, cheese and milk.
- Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
- Add sour cream.
- May be served immediately but is best served the next day.
- Serve with the usual chili garnishes--cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, etc.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
-- This post was originally published on December 6, 2011