I’ve mentioned before that I tend to keep post drafts for ages in my blog dashboard. Sometimes they’re there because they include a recipe I’m working on that still needs tweaks. Other times it’s because the photos weren’t all that great. Sometimes, I just get flat out lazy. I’ve had a post draft called “Chicken and hominy soup (or my idea of white chicken chili)” sitting there since February 2012. In this particular instance, the pictures were awful and I had a note that the soup needed a little more “oomph.”
Fast forward a year or so later and I came across America’s Test Kitchen’s version of white chicken chili. It was incredibly similar to the soup I’d created. Like this recipe, I had also used poblano, anaheim, and jalapeño peppers (I know, right? ATK should just hire me already…). In retrospect, I simply didn’t add enough peppers to my version. More peppers = more oomph. (I did add tomatillos to my soup, though, which I don’t necessarily think would be out of place here, either.)
Personally, I always found it a bit strange that white beans are in white chicken chili – not that I don’t love white beans, but I’ve always associated them more with Italian-type dishes. Like the soup I’d previously made, I ended up swapping out the beans for hominy because 1) I love it and 2) I just personally feel like it goes better. Is white chicken chili called white because it’s not red like traditional chili? Or is it called white because of the beans? If it’s the later, I suppose I should change this post title…
The resulting soup is one that is hearty and delicious. It’s not overtly spicy (Zachary had no issues eating this) and the flavors are just so well-rounded. I was so excited to have this as leftovers for a couple of days, which is always a true sign of a recipe’s greatness. Another good sign is that I can officially move this post out of my drafts, and into my published posts.
White Chicken Chili
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
3 lbs. bone-in, skin on chicken pieces (I used both breasts and thighs)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, divided
3 medium anaheim peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
3 medium poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, cut into large pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
2 (14.5 oz.) cans hominy (or white beans), drained and rinsed, divided
4 cups chicken broth, divided
3 Tbsp. lime juice (about 2 limes)
cilantro, to taste
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook about 5 minutes without moving until golden brown. Flip the chicken and brown on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot.
Meanwhile, add 2 of the jalapeño peppers to the bowl of a food processor along with the anaheims, poblanos, and onions (do this in batches if you don’t have a very large work bowl). Process until the consistency of chunky salsa, about 12-15 pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Place the puree in the Dutch oven over medium heat, along with the garlic, cumin, coriander, and about 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes or until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from heat and place 1 cup of the vegetable mixture, 1 cup of the hominy, and 1 cup of the chicken broth into the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 20 seconds or until smooth. Place the mixture back into the pot, and add the remaining 3 cups of broth. Place the browned chicken in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, covered, until chicken registers 160º, stirring occasionally. This should take about 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken with tongs and transfer to a plate. Stir the remaining beans into the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, discard the skin from the chicken and dice the meat.
Stir cut/shredded chicken, remaining minced jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, and green onions into the pot. Simmer to warm chicken through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.