White chicken chili

This recipe (from the Food Network) won the best chili award at our company potluck. It is time consuming but so worth it!

3 limes (including zest)
1/2 cup tequila
Red pepper flakes
3 16-oz cans white beans
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 large onions chopped
5 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (4 oz) cans of green chiles
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups defatted chicken stock (canned will work all right)
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream
Chopped fresh green onions

Remove fat and tendons from the chicken and place the chicken breast in a container that can be covered. Zest 1 of the limes and sprinkle the lime zest over the chicken breast. Using a lemon reamer, juice all 3 limes and pour the juice over the chicken breast. Pour the tequila over the chicken and add 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the chicken and marinate for 3 hours.

Heat olive oil in stock pot and add onion and saute for about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, green chilis, cumin, cayene pepper, and cloves and saute for 10 minutes.

Grill the chicken breast for 5 minutes and pour remaining marinade over the chicken breast on the grill. (I broiled this in the oven on the middle rack). Turn the chicken breast and grill the second side for 4 minutes. Remove the chicken breast from the grill and cut into small cubes.

Add the cubed chicken, beans, chicken broth to the stock pot and simmer for 20 minutes. (I actually put it in my crockpot at this point and left it all day!)

Add 1 cup of cheese to the chili and stir until the cheese melts. The cheese makes it totally creamy.

Ladle into bowls and serve with remaining cheese, chopped green onions, and sour cream. Salt to taste.


I’ve made this and it’s great! The extra step with the chicken is well worth the effort!

I make a version of this called white chili made with ground chicken or turkey, white beans, chopped chilies or a jalepeno, cumin, celery, white hominy, white corn, chicken broth and serve it with hot chili sauce, cilantro, and fresh lime juice all on the side…yum