January 1, 2012

the Real-Deal White Chicken Chili recipe

The real deal...

Folks, I've had my share of ordering White Chicken Chili and when it arrives be so dag-blasted disappointed ... nothing white about it... nope, not at all... dag-blasted cook.

Sure, I reckon for it to be chili, ya gotta have some color added to it like a little that comes from the spices and vegetables but no need to turn it pure red by adding cans of tomatoes or brown with pinto beans for goodness sake. No need what-so-ever, not if you don't need to and folks, I don't need to... nope, not at all. So that got me thinking of a really white chicken chili, as white as angel's wings, first snow on mountain peaks, and as white as powdered sugar cookies and... milk. Yeah, that's it.

Now I'm not saying this is pearly white but it's good enough for me and the taste will knock you off your feet, make ya want to sit a spell and enjoy another bowl. Yep, it's that good, and as you can see, it really is deserving of its name. Why it's the real deal and now y'all can say ya know the difference. So folks, the next time you hear someone mention white chicken chili, make sure you set them right.


White Chicken Chili
makes about 8 good servings

1 pound white cannelloni, great northern or navy beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
4 boneless chicken thighs and 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 small white onion
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic pods, minced
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock from cooked chicken
1 pint whole milk, divided
1 pint whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 stick of butter ( 4 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons of flour
Shredded Jack cheese for garnish

Soak the beans over night, rinse well and drain or use my slow cooker method to soak the beans.

Rinse the chicken under water and remove any fat. Place in a stockpot with over 1 1/2 quarts of water along with the white onion, celery stalk and bay leaf. Add a little salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and simmer until meat is fork tender. Remove chicken to colander and strain stock discarding the vegetables and bay leaf. Put stock aside. When cool to touch, shred chicken to bite size pieces, cover and put aside.

In a large stockpot (or same) over medium high heat, add oil, Spanish onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos. Cook stirring until onions are clear and add the oregano and thyme. Add the chicken stock, half of the milk and all of the cream. Bring to a low simmer. Add the cooked beans and all of the seasonings. When second boil begins, turn heat down to low and simmer covered for about an hour.

When beans are tender, add chicken to the pot, gently stir maintaining heat on lowest setting.

In a small sauce pan, stir butter and flour together over medium low heat to make a light roux. Cook for 2 minutes and gradually add a the remaining milk to the roux stirring to thicken. Gently stir the roux mixture into the chili stirring all while to mix in well and continue cooking until thicken.

Serve in bowls with the cheese. We like to add a dollop of sour cream and serve with hot cornbread muffins.


  1. I guess that is the real deal! Yum I made 15 quarts for my store yesterday of regular chili this one would really wow them! Happy 2012 nice kick off :) have a delicious new year!

  2. I love white chili but it is hard to find a really good one. I'll give this one a try soon. Thanks!

  3. No lie, this IS the real deal!!! All those yummy ingredients must create such beautiful layers of flavor.

  4. Happy New Year, Drick! Trying to catch up with reading. I've had a hard time finding a decent white chicken chili. This looks delicious. And white! ;-)

  5. I have never had white chili...great recipe, one that I will want to make for my guys for sure :)

  6. Ive made yourrecipe twice in the past couple of weeks and it's been a hit with my family. This is one of the best recipes I've ever made! Def something that I'm proud to serve my family. Thank you.

  7. I've been searching for a chicken chili similar to one I had years ago. Usually they're too thin but this one was exactly what I was remembering! We added potatoes to ours and everyone loved it! Thank you,

  8. Recipe says add cooked beans then says simmer one hour till tender did you mean add soaked beans then simmer one hour till tender?

  9. Sorry Robert, yes the cooked beans are the soaked beans as well... (I used the slow cooker method so to me, they were cooked)... hope this helps....