White Chili

September 6, 2011

Main Dishes, Soups

Hannah “Eat-a-Pretzel” is a wonderful young woman at The Big Green Machine, she is funny, thoughtful, kind and a riot to work with. You see “Eat-a-Pretzel” and I open most mornings during the week so we fall into a routine of busting out our daily tasks so we can chat and drink coffee between our morning regulars. She is married to the wonderful Mr. “Eat-a-Pretzel” and has a toddler Baby “Eat-a-Pretzel”,who like The Daughter, is a strong willed-child so we have had a few chats about how to deal with that type of personality. Thankfully I am on the other side of the strong willed-child era so I can commiserate with her on the ways of finding just the right thing to bend that will to do what you would like without breaking that will.

Today in Central Kentucky it is nasty wet and cold, The Weatherman says it’s the outer bands of the Tropical storm along the Eastern seaboard but I am blaming the Hungry Neophyte -I think he brought it back with him from his trip to Europe, …anyway its just rotten outside compared to just 4 days ago when it was pushing over 100 degrees, so I busted out the turtle neck and my sassy purple jacket for the first time this year as I had to go into work for just a short time today. When I got there “Eat-a-Pretzel” commented on how she was loving the fall feel in the air (read rainy windy and cold) and that she was wanting to have soup or chili today. Well while making the drive over I had already decided today was a White Chili type of day so when she commented on chili I offered up white chili. “Eat-a-Pretzel” got all drool-y and then excited when I told her I would put it up here on the blog today.

Now fair warning this makes about 6-8 quarts of chili, a lot I know but I usually am taking about 2/3rd to work for the poor starving people I work with but on the up side it freezes well and I would rather make one large pot and freeze it instead of making a bunch of little batches. It is easily divided for a smaller batch so if you are more the one small batch a time person its easy.

As far as how spicy I would have to say its middle of the road but can be made more spicy by leaving in the white spines and seeds on the jalapenos and adding more chipolte pepper. Also substituting a lemon for the limes doesn’t work all that well as the lemon is to harsh if you ask me, oh and don’t sub sour cream for the Creme Fraiche it will curdle on you and leave white lumps in your lovely chili. I normally serve this with corn bread made in a cast iron skillet with a bit of bacon drippings to keep it from sticking but a nice crusty sour dough or dark rye would work just as well. You need a stout bread to stand up the chili as it is bold in its flavor.

So here is the WikiJan take on White Chili…

White Chili

3-4 lbs Chicken Thighs

5 cans Navy Beans

2 qts Chicken Stock (not broth)

1 15oz Corn (corn from 2 fresh ears are best)

2 onions (diced)

2 Poblanos (julienned)

4 jalapeno (white ribs and seeds removed, finely dice)

2 limes (zested and juiced)

1 c Celery Hearts (just the very inner ribs with the leaves,finely diced)

8 oz Creme Fraiche

1 1/2 c White Wine (Chardonnay)

6 cloves Garlic (minced)

1/2 pkg Fresh Cilantro

2-4oz cans of chopped Green Chilies

1 Ts Chipotle Powder (more if you want is more spicy)

1/2 Ts Cumin

1/2 Ts Cinnamon

1 Ts Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Ts Kosher Salt


1 Avocado

1 c Extra Sharp Cheddar (shredded)


OK dice up your onions, jalapenos and celery, julienne your poblanos chop your cilantro and mince your garlic like this…

For a close up click on the photos

Be sure you chop the leaves from the celery as well as the ribs, the leaves have lots of flavor

You want the poblanos nice and thin…

Cut your chicken into small bite size pieces and liberally sprinkle with Adobo seasoning and toss on the Black pepper.

OK add about a tablespoon of oil into the bottom of a heavy stock pot and allow to get hot, add your chicken in SMALL batches and allow to brown, you do want color on your chicken. Color =Flavor. Don’t over crowd the pot you need to keep the pan on the hot side so your chicken does not steam. Remove to a bowl once it is browned.

A little fuzzy from the heat coming off the meat

In the same pot without cleaning it toss in the onions, peppers, celery, garlic and jalapeno. Season with salt and sweat them off -no color on the veggies. When onions are translucent toss in the garlic and allow to cook a few minutes longer. Add in the corn, lime zest, juice and cilantro. Add in the wine and scrap off the fond allow to reduce by half then toss in the beans, chicken and any accumulated juices in the bowl along with the Chicken Stock.

Allow to cook uncovered on med high for about 30 minutes to reduce the stock a bit. Turn down to low, cover and allow to simmer for about an hour or so. When you are ready to serve stir in the Creme Fraiche, once in the bowl top with shredded cheddar and slices of avocado along with a bit more fresh cilantro. Prepare your taste buds for some awesomeness!

Now go play with your food.



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2 Comments on “White Chili”

  1. Kentucky Fried Chick Says:

    Occasionally,on a cool wet day, I’ll think the white chili on the menu or in my cookbook sounds like just the thing I need. Without fail, I’ve been woefully disapointed every single time. Bland, pasty, boring. But today was different. Suffice it to say this is white chili as the good Lord intended.



    • Wikijancooks Says:

      I am really glad you and H.N. enjoyed the chili. I had the same problem and is the reason I took on the challenge of revamping white chili. This is one of those times when chicken thighs are much better than breasts they add more flavor due to the muscles bring used more.
      Again glad you enjoyed it so much!



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