White Chicken Chili

From Cook’s Illustrated. Published January 1, 2007.

Serves 6 to 8.

Adjust the heat in this dish by adding the minced ribs and seeds from the
jalapeño as directed in step 6. If Anaheim chiles cannot be found, add an
additional poblano and jalapeño to the chili. This dish can also be
successfully made by substituting chicken thighs for the chicken breasts.
If using thighs, increase the cooking time in step 4 to about 40 minutes.
Serve chili with sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges.


3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves , trimmed of excess fat and
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium jalapeño chiles
3 poblano chiles (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
3 Anaheim chile peppers (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large
2 medium onions , cut into large pieces (2 cups)
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions , white and light green parts sliced thin


  1. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch
    oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down,
    and cook without moving until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using
    tongs, turn chicken and lightly brown on other side, about 2 minutes.
    Transfer chicken to plate; remove and discard skin.

  2. While chicken is browning, remove and discard ribs and seeds from 2
    jalapeños; mince flesh. In food processor, process half of poblano chiles,
    Anaheim chiles, and onions until consistency of chunky salsa, ten to twelve
    1-second pulses, scraping down sides of workbowl halfway through. Transfer
    mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining poblano chiles, Anaheim
    chiles, and onions; combine with first batch (do not wash food processor
    blade or workbowl).

  3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional
    vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. Add minced
    jalapeños, chile-onion mixture, garlic, cumin, coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon
    salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about
    10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

  4. Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now-empty food processor
    workbowl. Add 1 cup beans and 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about
    20 seconds. Add vegetable-bean mixture, remaining 2 cups broth, and chicken
    breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat
    to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken
    registers 160 degrees (175 degrees if using thighs) on instant-read
    thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes (40 minutes if using thighs).

  5. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Stir in remaining beans
    and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are heated through and chili
    has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

  6. Mince remaining jalapeño, reserving and mincing ribs and seeds (see note
    above), and set aside. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into
    bite-sized pieces, discarding bones. Stir shredded chicken, lime juice,
    cilantro, scallions, and remaining minced jalapeño (with seeds if desired)
    into chili and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and