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Chicken White Bean Chili

By Tia Ohm

There is something about this chili. Maybe it is the cumin. Maybe it’s the apples. Whatever it is, the combination of these delightful in-season fruits and veggies in this seasoned chili broth is delectable. We make this every year on Halloween; a simple meal with all the right ingredients, and every time we are equally as satisfied. We finally pegged down the recipe; though many times we change it up. Sometimes we cook with the squash in the chili. Sometimes we add kale, sometimes spinach. I could see mushrooms in here being good. Heck throw in some broccoli too while your at it. See where I am going? The base is all you need, then you can just use what you have in the fridge to make it really fun. If you find the finished product is not flavorful enough, add more salt, pepper, chili, and cumin. Taste again and decide. Feeling lazy? Throw all the veggies and chicken in with some butter and spices, cook through, then add your liquid and enjoy like a soup; no need for the flour or roux at all! One thing we never change is the toppings: you must serve with guacamole (or at least cubed avocado). Cheese and sour cream are also delightful if that appeals to you. We often have some blue corn chips on the side and dip them in for crunch. Any way you have it, it’s always just as good: a flavorful one-pot meal you can make any time, but is best when squash and apples are in season (psst, now!).



What You’ll Need:

  • 3 lbs chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 cans white beans
  • 4 apples, peeled and cubed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • at least 2 cups spinach or kale (or other veggies of choice), optional
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 4 c chicken broth
  • 1 c milk
  • 6 T butter (for roux), plus more for sauteing

for topping

  • Roasted butternut squash, cubed and roasted with some coconut oil or butter at 350­­° for about 20 minutes or until cooked through
  • monterey jack cheese
  • your favorite guacamole
  • sour cream

What to Do:

  1. In a large cast iron or saute pan, cook your cubed chicken with a few tablespoons of butter, chili powder,cumin, salt and pepper to taste until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
  2. In a separate saute pan, melt about 2 tablespoons butter. Add your onions and cook for a few minutes on medium. Add chunked apples and cook until al dente. Remove from heat and combine onions and apples with your chicken mixture.
  3. Using a larger pot (which will fit your final product), begin making your roux by melting your 6 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour slowly until combined well and thickened. Keep flame on low.
  4. Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk, still whisking. Turn flame a bit higher. Continue to cook, (should be at a light boil) whisking constantly until it becomes a thick soupy mixture.
  5. Add your beans, spiced chicken, onions and apples to the thick soup mixture, keeping flame on low. At this point, add spinach if desired, plus more salt, pepper, and spices if needed.
  6. Serve topped with roasted butternut squash, shredded monterey jack, guacamole, and sour cream.

Serves about 12