My best stovetop white bean chicken chili that will leave you wanting more. With hearty white beans, tender chicken, and a rich, spicy broth, this will become your favorite. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
I'm a huge chili fan, who else has 10+ chili recipes on their site. But this one stands out for me. It is just so darn good.
I wanted to use the chicken to make broth for the soup so I needed a new recipe. I want simple and common ingredients. Nothing was just right, but I found a nice inspiration recipe at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. A few simplifications and modifications were all that was needed.
On a heat scale, this is 3/10, but on a taste scale, it's a 10 for us.
The mere volume of soup produced almost made me rate it a four. Remember this is cooking for two, but it will freeze well.
🐓Chicken and the Broth
I suggest using skin-on bone-in split chicken breasts here. That is to generate the broth and generally that works great. You can use thighs or even a whole chicken. The model recipe used a whole chicken. I don't want to strip the meat off a cooked whole chicken.
But after frequent cooking this recipe, I find that sometimes there is just not enough chicken taste. You can fix the taste issue in several ways. You could just use chicken broth instead of water. Or add some chicken bouillon of some type.
Skinless boneless chicken breasts could be used but will never generate enough chicken taste, so you will need to use broth instead of water.
You can also use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. You will need about 4 cups of shredded precooked chicken and use broth instead of water. Obviously, pick up the instructions after the shredding of the chicken.
Size of the recipe.
This is an older recipe and when I did this, there was a teenage boy and lots of his friends around. This is an easy recipe to cut in half.
To thicken or not?
I used some masa flour to thicken. If you don't have the masa flour, you can use cornmeal or corn starch. Or you can just skip the whole thickening part.
Like most chili, good refrigerated for 3-4 days. And good frozen for 3-4 months.
📖Chicken Chili Recipes
Trim the chicken of any trim-able fat then split in half to aid cooking.
Place in a large stockpot and cover with 8 cups of water. Bring to boil then decrease to low to simmer. Cover with lid and cook until internal temp is 160°. About 40 minutes.
Mince five cloves of garlic and chop a large onion. Then prep the jalapeno by splitting it and removing the seeds and veins before mincing.
Remove the chicken and allow to cool for about 20 minutes and then hand shred discarding the skin and bones. Combine all ingredients except the masa flour and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
Optional Thickening (I usually don't): Mix the masa flour in ¼ cup very hot water and mix well. Combine the soup and frequently stir for another 10 minutes then remove from heat.
White Bean Chicken Chili
- 3 split chicken breast with bone and skin - see options in notes
- 8 cups water
- 1 onion - large chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper - cleaned and minced
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 72 oz Navy beans - precooked, drained
- 8 oz diced green chilles
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin - increase if you want spicy
- ½ teaspoon paprika - increase if you want spicy
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper - increase if you want spicy
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper - black is ok if you don't have white
- 4 teaspoons Chicken soup base - or 4 bouillon cubes
- 2 tablespoon masa flour - in ¼ cup hot water
- Trim the chicken then split in half to aid cooking.
- Place in a large stockpot and cover with 8 cups of water. Bring to boil the decrease to low to simmer. Cover with lid and cook until internal temp is 160. About 40 minutes.
- Mince five cloves of garlic and chop a large onion. Then prep the jalapeno by splitting it and removing the seeds and veins before mincing.
- Remove the chicken and allow to cool for about 20 minutes and then hand shred discarding the skin and bones. Combine all ingredients except the masa flour and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
- Optional Thickening (I usually don't): Mix the masa flour in ¼ cup very hot water and mix well. Combine the soup and frequently stir for another 10 minutes then remove from heat.
- This is an easy recipe to cut in half.
- You need about 2 pounds of chicken after cooking. You may use almost any chicken. A whole chicken or chicken thighs work well.
- If you use skinless chicken or precooked chicken, then use chicken broth instead of water. If pre-cooked then start at step 3.
- Add some chicken bouillon to the broth if needed after cooking the chicken. Taste test it every time.
- You can thicken with Mesa flour, corn starch or corn meal. Or skip thickening entirely.
- This is about 3/10 on my heat scale. You can decrease that by elemimating the jalapeno. Or increase by doubling the jalapeno or adding additional cayenne pepper.
- Good refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published December 4, 2010. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.