This comforting chili is packed with layer after layer of flavor. Smoky roasted peppers and garlic mingle with rich tomatillos, silky beans and tender chicken for a complex but familiar flavor. Poblano peppers, known best for chiles rellenos, lead the way with soft, savory heat.
- 4-5 roasted poblano peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 roasted green bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1.5 lb halved tomatillos, husks and stems removed
- 3-4 jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 lbs chicken breasts (about 3-4 large)
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 14-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14-oz can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 TBSPs roasted garlic paste
- 2 Tablespoons chili paste (or 1 & 1/2 teaspoon chili powder)
- 2 Tablespoons cumin
- 8-oz IPA beer
- 2 cups chicken broth plus 1/4 cup
Suggestions for toppings
- Cilantro, cotija or cheddar cheese, Mexican crema or sour cream, avocados, tortilla chips
- 5 qt. enameled dutch oven or other pot
- Large food processor or blender
- A baking/cooling/roasting rack, silicone-lined tongs (or hold the tongs with an oven mitt), and cooking gloves if you use my tutorial to roast your peppers.
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- On a baking sheet, toss your tomatillos and jalapeños in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until they begin to brown and blister.
- Place tomatillos and jalapeños in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Set aside for now.
- Salt and pepper the chicken breasts on each side.
- Heat a large enameled dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat on the stove. Add remaining extra virgin olive oil to the pot.
- When the oil shimmers, sear the chicken in it until browned, about five minutes on each side. If the chicken still sticks, you’ve probably got a thick breast will take more time. Just keep cooking until it releases naturally–don’t tear it from the pan.
- Remove chicken to a plate.
- In the same pan, sweat the onions until they’re soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add more oil if the pan looks dry.
- Add the chicken back to the pot, then add the roasted peppers. Pour in the beer and scrape any browned bits of the bottom of the pan as it foams.
- Add beans, garlic paste, chili paste (or powder), and cumin. Bring to a low simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove the chicken again and set it aside on a plate to cool.
- Add the chicken broth and the tomatillo mixture to the pot, and bring it back to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and continue cooking, stirring every so often to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
- Meanwhile, dice the chicken finely. Add it to the pot and simmer the chili on low for at least half an hour. You can let it simmer longer for even better flavor, but watch it closely or move it to a crockpot.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
- Taste as you go! In a complex recipe like this, there are so many things that can affect that taste of your chili. How fresh your spices are, the quality of your produce, and more. Tasting lets you know if you need more spices, if you need to cool it on the heat, if it’s salty enough… and I mean, why wouldn’t you want to taste it?
- Season early and often. Salt shouldn’t be an afterthought. It affects how the recipe cooks, and should be added throughout the process. Other seasonings such as cumin might lose some flavor the longer they cook. Adding these in stages will only add to the layers of flavor you’re building.
Take it to the next level: If you really want to up the ante, try these tips:
- Add a bay leaf while simmering and remove before serving.
- If you like a lot of heat, reserve the juices that drip from the peppers (from the baking sheet, steaming container, cutting board, etc.) and add them to taste. Be careful as poblano pepper oil is potent.
- You can also increase the heat by adding other types of roasted peppers. I like to add a habanero every once in a while if I’m feeling it.
- I used canned beans here because I think they work fine, but you could always use dried beans for a slightly better texture. I have instructions for that at the bottom of my recipe for Tuscan white bean soup.
Keywords: the poblano green chicken chili, chili, chili verde, chicken chili, white bean chicken chili