White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

While beef chili certainly is the gold standard in the chili world, we love its Southwestern counterpart, white chicken chili. This dish of tender, juicy chicken and a green, fresh chile-based sauce can be delicious, but too often it's not. The chicken is overcooked, the sauce can be bland and thin, and the chile heat can range from barely there to full-blown hot. We found not one, but three solutions to these problems.

First, we pureed a sautéed chile-onion mixture and beans with chicken broth to thicken the sauce. This approach had the added benefit of ensuring that chile flavor was present in every drop.

To avoid rubbery chicken, we browned, poached, and shredded bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, which gave our chicken pieces a hearty texture and full flavor.

And to solve the problem of insufficient chile flavor, we used a trio of fresh chiles: jalapeño, poblano, and Anaheim. And to ensure that they didn't tip the scale in terms of heat, we removed their spicy ribs and seeds (leaving some to season the dish just before serving).

Unlike other chilis, this one tastes best the day it is prepared. Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges, if desired.


Total Cooking Time: 60

Preparation Time: 20

Active Cooking Time: 40

Make Ahead: Best the day it's made

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Difficulty: Intermediate