White Bean Chicken Chili

January 23, 2013 | | | | | | |

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Last night I made White Bean Chicken Chili in my new Crock-Pot:


It was a truly life-changing experience, and I am now a slow-cooker convert.

Honestly, until I took my Crock-Pot out of the packaging yesterday, I had never seen a slow-cooker in the flesh. For most of my life, Crock-Pots were just an unknown kitchen device mostly used by Ramona Quimby’s mother for cooking pot-roast in Judy Blume novels. However, since entering the wonderful world of food blogging, I have noticed that slow-cookers are totally hot. People are making all manner of fancy things in them, and I wanted to join the club.

So, when I unwrapped my new Crock-Pot on Christmas morning, I shrieked like Logan at a Chinese buffet. I’m pretty sure my mom was both shocked and thrilled by this reaction. I mean, if I had unwrapped the same present a few years ago, I would have thought it was a practical joke and promptly opened the box looking for the new shoes or flashy clutch that were surely hidden inside. However, I am a changed woman, and my inner Martha Stewart couldn’t wait to test out this exciting new toy.

How I felt when I unwrapped my Crock-Pot.

To say that I was pleased with my first foray into slow-cooking would be an understatement. It was awesome. Not only was the chili delicious, but I was overwhelmed by how easy the whole cooking process was. You could literally put the ingredients in the Crock-Pot, go to work, and come home to a hot meal! Since I am self-employed and the only time that I left home during the cooking process was to get a facial, I didn’t really get to experience the full WOW-factor that I’m sure would take place in this scenario, but that’s all the more reason for you to try it.

As you can see, I have fallen in love with this incredible slow-cooking machine. In case you think that I am in some way being sponsored by Crock-Pot, think again. However, I do have all sorts of excellent ideas for marketing campaigns, should they come knocking. They mostly involve me in a bikini with my Crock-Pot and “Boyfriend” by Justin Beiber. I don’t want to give too much more away, but I think there’s a LOT of potential.

Anyhoo, this chili is straight-up money. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy, but it still has a nice kick to it. And since it’s packed with lean protein and fiber, it’s Dude Diet approved and great for everyone’s “eat healthier” resolutions. White bean chicken chili is the perfect meal to serve friends or roommates during the week, and it makes an excellent Sunday Night Fear-soothing comfort food. Take leftovers to work to save money and calories on your typical lunch (and impress your co-workers). If you’re one of those people that refuses to eat the same meal two days in a row (read: high maintenance), I’ve still got you covered. This chili freezes beautifully.

I would also like to remind you that the Super Bowl is coming up, and chili is pretty much a game day staple. * Instead of making boring beef chili that no one will remember, or worse, heating up a couple cans of Hormel, try this white bean chicken chili. It will definitely lead to the “you’re so creative and domestic!” type compliments that I’m always encouraging you to aspire to.

In case you’re currently staring at your computer screen, cursing me and writing off this recipe as bullshit because you do not own a fancy Crock-Pot…chill the eff out. You can make this chili in a regular old pot on the stove. I have done it before, and I will probably do it again. It’s not as much fun, but it’s still delicious, which is all that matters.

*Saying things like “game day” makes me feel like a poser, but I’ll do whatever it takes to sell you on this chili.

White Bean Chicken Chili: (Serves 6)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp Mexican chili powder
½ tsp salt
½-1 tsp red chili flakes (depending on your heat preference)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp Cholula (optional)
Optional garnish:
1 Lime, cut into wedges
1 avocado, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup white cheddar cheese, shredded


Preparing your chili:

-Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno and sauté for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.


-Add the canned green chiles, cumin, oregano, Mexican chili powder, red chili flakes, and salt. Cook for 1 more minute.


-Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker and add the beans, chicken breasts, and chicken stock. Cook on low for 6 hours (feel free to leave it on for 8 if you like).


-Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred them with a fork (or your hands, whatever).


-In a blender, puree 1 cup of beans (yes there will be some onions and stuff in there, that’s fine) with ¼ cup of liquid, this will be used to thicken your chili. If you don’t have a blender, just smash the beans with a fork.


-Return everything to the slow cooker and mix well. Add the Cholula now if you’re using it.


-Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro, avocado, cheddar, and a squeeze of lime juice. Que fiesta, bitches!


*If you do not have a slow cooker, it’s not the end of the world. Just add the beans, chicken breasts, and chicken stock to the onion spice mixture in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. After an hour, remove and shred the chicken breasts and puree the beans. Add everything back to the pot, simmer another 15 minutes, and serve. Yes, this method is actually faster, but slow cookers are fun and the flavors have longer to develop, okay?

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  1. Anonymous on March 25, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I made this on the stove with a rotisserie chicken the first time. My sweetie commented AT LEAST 4-5 times how good it was! Therefore, I am making it again tonight and the recipe is going in my KEEPER file! I’ll bet it’s even better in the crock pot! Thanks!!!

  2. Anonymous on February 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Dear Domesticateme:

    I was at a friends house in PHX., AZ and smelled this amazing aroma coming from their crockpot – it was your dish! I am not much of a chef but as a person who tends to eat the same thing for lunch every day (a flour tortilla with peanut butter). I can’t wait to try making this for myself! This was wonderful thank you! Happy creating/cooking!

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  4. Lauren Roffey on January 24, 2013 at 6:11 am

    I get the impression you are slightly excited by the Crock-Pot?! If it is any consolation I felt exactly the same about this http://www.salterhousewares.com/salter_uk/catalogue/kitchen-accessories/timers/contour-timer.html which I received for Christmas. Possibly the best timer in the world, I carry it around the house with me (I also realise I too may need to get a job asap).

    Awesome looking chilli, I have only ever made chilli with mince or beans and veg, will give shredded chicken a go. Cheers for sharing!

    • Serena Wolf on January 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      “excited by the Crock-pot” is a serious understatement. i would snuggle with it if i could. that timer looks pretty badass too!

      You must try chicken chili, puts minced meat to shame.