Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine

Weekly(ish) Recipe: Liz’s White Chicken Chili

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It hit the 30s in Macon, Georgia this past weekend.  It snowed in parts of South Carolina and northern Georgia.  And, quite simply, cold and snow makes me crave chili – spicy and hot, so it warms inside to out.  And thus I began the chili recipe search.

I enjoy chili, and so does Nick, so I make it fairly often.  It’s my favorite use of leftovers when we smoke a beef brisket, for example.  I refer time and again to the recipe for Leslie’s Chili, which is still my go-to beef chili recipe.  Chili is a double-win as a cost-effective, two-night plus meal for the two of us.  This early cold snap presented the perfect opportunity to try some type of white chili, using either chicken or ground turkey.  I found Liz’s White Chicken Chili on page 61 of Recipes from the Maine Kitchen.

Setting up!

Setting up!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1/2 can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cans (13 oz.) of cannelini beans, undrained

Heat oil in large skillet and cook chicken approximately 5 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.  Cook the onion and garlic in the pan juices for about two minutes, then stir in the chicken broth, chiles, and spices.

Nearly done!

Nearly done!


Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Stir in chicken and beans and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

This recipe really is as easy and (relatively) quick as it sounds.  If you want to punch up the spice, which I did, simply add more of the cumin and other spices.  I also threw in some fresh, diced jalapenos from our garden, and a bit of cayenne pepper.

Here’s where I have to be honest: while I liked this meal, and I would make it again, I wasn’t wild about it.  The flavor was good, but it was missing something for me.  Here’s what I’ll do differently the next time around:

1) poach and shred the chicken.  I think having shredded chicken throughout would have enhanced the flavor and the texture.  You also may be able to enhance the flavor by poaching the chicken in a mix of water and white wine, with seasonings.

2) add other veggies.  I’ve made beef chili before that calls for diced carrots and other unique vegetable additions.  I think that would work well in this dish, too, and add more interesting flavors.

Ready to dig in!

Ready to dig in!

If you like white chili (and let’s face it, chicken is better for us than red meat), I’m sure you will like this recipe.  I’ll keep you all posted on round 2 and if my revisions work well!

Happy cooking!


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