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Guest Chef

White Chicken Chili

white chicken chili

A friend of my grandmother’s made this chilli for her then passed on the recipe when my grandma loved it. It’s got great flavour and perfect to warm the belly on a cool winter’s evening.

My grandma insisted we get the chicken with skin on it, because “that is where the flavour is”! The recipe calls for chicken breasts with skin on but that can be hard to find so we substituted a whole chicken.  I do highly recommend using the whole chicken to flavour the stock, and if you want to use only the white meat in the chilli after (to follow the name), just reserve the dark meat for something else or do as we did and put it all in.

I really enjoyed this soup, it’s simple and easy and packs a great taste!

To serve, garnish with shredded mexican cheese and crushed tortilla shells.

Happy Eating,





  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
  • 4-6 chicken breasts (skin on) or 1 whole chicken
  • 2-3 cans chopped green chilis
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2-3 cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin (or to taste)
  • garlic salt (to taste)
  • 2 cans white beans (of your choice, we used navy beans and chick peas)
  • 1 can white whole kernel corn (drained)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)


  • Mexican cheese (shredded)
  • crushed tortilla chips


  1. Place onion, celery, chicken**, chilis (with juice), garlic, cumin and garlic salt into a large pot. Cover with broth (or water if you prefer). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover pot and allow to simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. When chicken is done (as my Grandma says, it depends on what chicken you use and your heat!), take it out and separate the meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones (all the flavour from the skin is now in the pot, says Grandma). Shred the meat with two forks (separating the dark meat if you prefer). Then place back into the broth.
  3. Add in beans and corn (Grandma drained the chickpeas but put the juice from the navy beans into the pot to help thicken it). Season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer 1-2 hours (the longer you simmer the better it is says the recipe). If it starts to get too thick during the simmering, just add in a bit more chicken stock.**

**The recipe calls for one bunch of cilantro added in with the chicken at the beginning. But my preference would be to add the cilantro near the end (about 5 min or so before serving) because it is a delicate herb which loses flavour if cooked over a long simmering time.  So if you prefer a stronger cilantro flavouring throw it in at the end, the choice is yours!


About Chicabella the Corseted Culinarian

Recipe for The Corseted Culinarian: Mix together two parts creative, one part inquisitive, one part outgoing, dash of silly, sprinkle of funny, knead gently, bake, allow to cool, slice and spread with love.


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January 2012
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