It’s officially fall. Which means it’s officially chili season. A comfort food at its best, to take you through the colder months of fall and into winter. Nothing is more comforting than a hot bowl of spicy and hearty chili, and the best part about this dish are the endless variations. You can give that same ol’ beef chili a rest and try this chicken chili verde to spice things up.
Chicken chili is a little lighter, but just as satisfying. Made with two kinds of beans, shredded chicken breast and a tomatillo base (veggies!), it has a bright flavor with a little bit of tang. Top it with a squeeze of lime and chopped onion, cilantro and radishes to pull everything together. For a super-filling meal you can serve it over a sweet potato (so good) or rice.
This recipe speeds along when you start with fully cooked chicken breast. To get one step ahead, bake your chicken the night before or buy a rotisserie chicken and skin and shred the meat. Once your chicken is prepped, this chicken chili verde comes together quickly enough for a weeknight meal. And technically it’s one pot, although you will need to puree the base, but that’s a cinch if you have an immersion blender! (Which I do not.) If you’re using your blender or food processor, be very careful and work in small batches. A too-full blender will splash hot liquid on you and all over your counter and be an awful, hot mess.
Chicken Chili Verde
For the Chili:
4 chicken breasts, skinless (fully cooked and shredded)
1 pound tomatillos, rough chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 can chicken broth
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp cayenne (more to taste)
salt & pepper, to taste
chopped onion, cilantro, radish
squeeze of lime
Start with a large pot or dutch oven, start by sweating out the garlic and onion until golden. Add chopped bell pepper and jalapeño. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatillo and tomato, cook one minute more, they should be watery and juicy. Add your seasonings, cayenne, cumin and a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once the seasoning becomes fragrant and the tomatillos start to cook down, add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and drop to a simmer, cooking with the lid off until the vegetables are broken down and some of the liquid has begun to cook off. Remove from heat.
In a blender, food processor (being very careful with the hot liquid, do not overfill your machine) or with an immersion blender, puree into a thick, soupy base. Return to pot, on a medium heat. Add shredded chicken and your beans, drained and rinsed. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt, pepper and spice as needed. If your chili remains too watery, you can continue to cook until it reaches the desired thickness. Serve garnished as desired. Store leftovers for up to 1 week or freeze for future meals.
Need a side dish? Try these Homemade Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers