Why It Works
- White chili is the perfect way to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, but you can also use leftover chicken.
- The flavor base is a combination of jalapeños, poblanos, and roasted Hatch chiles.
I have no idea where or when white chicken chili was invented. I couldn't even tell you the first time I tried it. It was probably at home as a kid, and the recipe probably came from the Betty Crocker cookbook, or perhaps the Joy of Cooking.
Things I do know: the combination of tender chicken, white beans, and green chiles is a flavorful force to be reckoned with, one that's made all the more delicious when you swap out that wimpy chicken for some leftover turkey.
Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird? He might have gotten away with it if more of our forefathers had been eating Turkey White Chili instead of Bald Eagle Pot Pie.
White chili starts with a mix of onions and peppers. I used a combination of jalapeños, poblanos, and roasted Hatch chiles that I have saved in my fridge. You can always use fresh roasted green chiles, or even canned green chiles if brevity is of the essence. Cumin, coriander, and chicken broth get added, along with some canned beans and their liquid. Many recipes call for draining and rinsing beans. I like to leave the starchy liquid in this stew to give it a bit of body and texture.
If you've got the roast turkey meat on hand, the whole dish comes together in about 15 minutes of real work, and is ready for the table in under an hour. It'll taste like it simmered all day.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 jalapeño peppers, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 poblano peppers, finely diced (about 1 cup)
3 roasted Hatch chile peppers, or 3 cans whole green chiles, finely chopped by hand
4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans small white or cannelini beans with their liquid
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 pounds leftover turkey meat or chicken, torn into rough bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons fresh juice from about 2 limes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lime wedges and grated Pepper Jack or Jack cheese for serving
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, jalapeño, and poblano peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until pale golden brown, about 12 minutes total. Add chopped Hatch or canned chiles, garlic, cumin, and coriander, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add stock, beans and their liquid, half of cilantro, and turkey. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors have melded, about 30 minutes. Stir in lime juice and remaining cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grated cheese and lime wedges.
If you can't find Hatch chile peppers, you can substitute with canned green chiles.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||11%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 19g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||14%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 24mg||122%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|