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Slow-cooker White Chili with Chicken and Chickpeas

Updated on April 8, 2014
White Chili: A spicy slow-cooked dish loaded with fiber
White Chili: A spicy slow-cooked dish loaded with fiber
Cast your vote for Slow-cooker White Chili

Cook Time for White Chili

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 20 min
Yields: Roughly 8 servings
White bean chili ingredients
White bean chili ingredients

White Chili Recipe Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (or if you prefer some cheaper dark meat, you can use thighs)
  • 1 Medium Onion, minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 24 oz white beans
  • 14 oz chickpeas
  • 1 small can chilies in adobo
  • 1/2 lb cauliflower, chopped
  • 8 cups chicken broth, (I used half broth, half water)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbs cornmeal
  • pepper or Monterey jack cheese, Grated
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbs Butter or Coconut Oil

What is White Chili? (Scroll for recipe)

A year ago, I would've said the exact same thing - what the heck is white chili? I also would've said, how is there a chili I've never heard of, nevermind tried?? And turns out, I had no idea what I was missing.

White chili, as you can imagine, is made up of light colored ingredients - specifically, chicken (in oppose to beef), and milk (in oppose to stewed tomatoes). It's still a stew, and it still relies heavily on beans. The big difference I found is that this, as an overall lighter chili, lends itself to fresh vegetables much better than your standard chili. It can't imagine it with too much smoke or sweetness, but the creamy texture mixed with the soft, shredded chicken, chickpeas and white beans, and cheese is just delightful.

Plus there's the aroma coming from the crockpot and creeping through your home.

The Slow Cooker

I use my slow cooker religiously. Every weekend, I throw a bunch of ingredients into the cooker, leave the how, and come back to at least a half week full of lunches - if not a soup I freeze and pull out when I don't feel like prepping a real meal.

Every time I roast a bird and want to make broth, I use the slow cooker. Every time I have more people over than I can realistically feed using my oven and stove? I use the slow cooker. Whenever I know I'm about to have a busy week (which is often)...well, you get the point.

I don't just use mine, I abuse it, and it's never given me any problems. So I've put a link to the model up on the top right of this page. If you don't have time to cook or make lunches everyday, and you don't have a crockpot, then I strongly suggest you get your hands on one.

This recipe made my girlfriend and I multiple meals - one dinner to start at 2-3 lunches a piece. It's a little rich, and I would probably freeze some portions next time around and make those lunches last all week, but it was nice having a healthy, home-cooked meal for lunch every day with minimal effort.

Don't skimp on the garlic!
Don't skimp on the garlic!
Hot peppers in adobe, chopped, give the chili a bit of a kick!
Hot peppers in adobe, chopped, give the chili a bit of a kick!
Shred that poached chicken REALLY well - there should be no chunks of chicken in your chili.
Shred that poached chicken REALLY well - there should be no chunks of chicken in your chili.
Thicken the chili with some milk and cornmeal.
Thicken the chili with some milk and cornmeal.

Slow-Cooker White Chili Recipe

  1. Turn on your slow cooker, set to low, and add butter or coconut oil
  2. Once melted, add the onion and the garlic and cover the crockpot
  3. Boil a pot of water large enough to hold the two chicken breasts, then poach the breasts until almost white all the way through
  4. Once the onion and garlic become fragrant, add the white beans, chilies, chickpeas, as well as water and/or chicken stock, and herbs and spices
  5. Remove the poached chicken from the water and place in a bowl
  6. Aggressively - perhaps even violently - shred that chicken up until it's a pile of protein strands. Keep in mind that there should be no chunks of chicken, the chicken should almost be a part of the sauce.
  7. Let it cook in the slow-cooker for about 7 hours. Give it a taste on occasion to make sure it's seasoned the way you like it!
  8. Mix the whole milk and the cornmeal very well in a cup
  9. Pour into the crockpot, add the cauliflower, and let it simmer for about another hour. I felt that it was a good idea to let some of the liquid cook off before serving, but that was just my personal preference.

Remember that you can amend this recipe however you like. I like my chili really spicy, no matter the color! But you can always remove the chilies, use jalapenos instead, or even switch out for fresh green pepper. The cayenne isn't that important either, although chili without any kick at all, in my humble opinion, just ain't chili!

White chili isn't much to look at, but it's a refreshing change from the standard tomato-based chili
White chili isn't much to look at, but it's a refreshing change from the standard tomato-based chili

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