Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Chicken and Chili Soup with Beans and Hominy


This started out as a noble attempt at a white chili, the somewhat healthy cousin to red chili. But somewhere along the line I realized I really hated white chili. Chili to me is red chilies, beef, and not much else. So trying to replace everything I loved about real chili just made me angry. Plus, so many of the recipes added cream to thicken the pot. If this was going to be a healthy alternative, I wanted it to actually be healthy. About halfway through the cooking process I just changed the name to chicken and chili soup with with beans and hominy, and suddenly everything was OK.

This recipe is cobbled together from various sources, based entirely on what sounded delicious to me. I wanted as much of the flavor and heat to come from green chilies, so I used a combination of poblanos, jalape├▒os, and pickled serranos. The chicken and beans didn't add much beyond texture, but I was surprised how much the hominy added to the soup. The corn flavor was very pronounced.

My favorite part of this dish is actually garnishing it. It looked like a regular bean and chicken soup until I started loading on herbs, more chilies, queso fresco, and freshly squeezed lime juice. The dish became aromatic, light, and spicier. It's delicious, no matter what you end up calling this thing.

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