Chili recipes with chicken, white beans and so forth have been around for a long time but I’ve never gotten around to really even reading them, much less trying them. When I think chili I think traditional chili. But chicken was on sale and I had a craving for tomatillos so this is what I came up with. It’s really more of a soup, similar to a chicken tortilla soup in flavor but the beans add more substance. For a faster, easier version it’d be just fine to use boneless chicken and skip the whole deboning process.
- Chicken parts, I used 3 breasts and 4 thighs. Adjust according to how much you want to make and your preference for white or dark meat.
- Tomatillos, about a dozen
- Onion, 2 small to medium
- Garlic, 3 or 4 cloves
- Limes, 2
- Jalapenos, 2 or 3 or more, depending on how hot you want it
- Cilantro, about 1/4 cup when snipped
- Cannelini or other white beans, 3 cans
- Cumin, 1 teaspoon
- Chili Powder
- Chicken Stock, 4 to 6 cups
- Olive Oil
- Margarita. I prefer mine on the rocks, with salt.
Add a little olive oil to the bottom of a large stock pot. Heat over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. While the chicken begins to brown, chop the onion and garlic. Turn the chicken a few times then add the onion and garlic. Add the chicken stock, cover the pot and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is about done. Once it is done, remove it to a platter and let it cool.While the chicken is cooking and cooling, peel the pretty skin from the tomatillos.Then chop them into quarters.Snip the cilantro, slice the peppers and the limes. I was lazy and just sliced the limes and dumped them in. Next time I’ll probably juice them or else add them closer to the end of the process. The lime peel added a bitterness to the overall flavor.When the chicken is cool enough to handle get rid of the skin, fat and bones and drop the meat back into the pot.Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot, along with the limes, tomatillos and cilantro.Add cumin and a little chili powder.Stir it all together and add more broth if necessary. Let it simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes or so, or until the tomatillos are nice and tender.Dish it up and garnish it with a lime wedge and sprig of cilantro.A second margarita makes the perfect accompaniment!