I don’t often make white chili, but this one is exceptional. Funny thing – my friend Colin next door is in his 30s and he’s never had white chili until I made this for him, and he said the flavors were amazing. He also said, “It’s almost like a deconstructed enchilada.”
One of the reasons this is so good is the chicken part I use. So many recipes call for chicken breasts, and I have no idea why you would use that when chicken thighs have more fat. “Fat = Flavor”, to quote Samin Nosrat from Salt Fat Acid Heat. Some recipes call for boiling the chicken and then shredding it. In this recipe, I poach the chicken as it is a more gentle way to cook the protein which results in more tender, juicy, and flavorful meat.
White Chicken Chili with Great Northern Beans Using Chicken Thighs
- 1 Instant read thermometer to check internal temperature of the chicken.
- 6 chicken thighs poached and shredded
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion medium diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 7 oz can of green chilies
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp cayenne papper
- 2 32 oz boxes of chicken broth
- 2 14.5 oz cans of Great Northern beans
- 2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 pinches MSG (The food industry's secret ingredient.)
- sour cream optional garnish
- cilantro optional garnish
- avocado, large diced optional garnish
- Remove any excess fat from the thighs.
- Fill a large pot with with salted water and bring to a medium boil.
- Add the whole chicken thighs and turn the heat down to maintain a low simmer.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Check with an instant-read thermometer. Chicken is done when the internal temp is 165 ºF.
- Remove chicken from pot to a cutting board, and shred using two forks.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot on medium high.
- Add the onion and cook until tender.
- Add the garlic and green chiles. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and beans.
- Add the shredded chicken and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and two pinches of MSG.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream, and large diced avocado, plus the remaining cup of the shredded cheese.