White Chicken Poblano Chili

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: This is a more flavorful version of white chicken chili, in which you cook a whole chicken and create your own chicken stock in the process. Poblano chiles can vary in heat intensity from very mild to medium-hot. This recipe calls for seeded and stemmed fresh chiles, but for more heat, just remove the stem and leave the seeds and white membranes intact. To roast the poblanos, broil whole peppers close to the flame until blistered and charred, about 5 minutes. Then rotate to expose more green skin to the flame and continue to broil. When blistered all over, wrap peppers in wet paper towels, place inside plastic bag and set aside to steam for 10 to 15 minutes, or until skins are very loose. Scrape off skin with butter knife. Cut off stem and remove seeds. Do not rinse with water or you will lose a lot of flavor. Masa harina is flour made from dried corn. From "The Chili Cookbook," by Robb Walsh.

• 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

• 10 c. water

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 2 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil

• 1 white onion, chopped

• 4 large garlic cloves, minced

6 to 8 poblano chiles, roasted (see Note; or substitute canned roasted and peeled green chiles)

1 jalapeño chile, seeded, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 lb. dried Great Northern beans, rinsed and soaked in water for 2 to 3 hours

• 1/2 tsp. chili powder

• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 1 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin

• 2 tbsp. masa harina (see Note)

• 1 c. whole milk

• 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

• White pepper

• Sour cream, to garnish


Put chicken in stockpot over medium heat and add 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, set aside, and allow to cool. Reserve broth and add water, if necessary, to yield 8 cups. Remove skin from chicken and discard. Then remove meat from the bones — you should have about 3 cups cooked chicken.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm butter and oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 8 minutes, being careful not to brown vegetables. Reserve 1 poblano for the garnish and cut it into long, thin strips. Chop remaining poblanos and add to the pot along with the sliced jalapeños and drained soaked beans. Add the chili powder, cayenne and cumin.

Add chicken broth and cook for 1 hour. Add chicken and continue cooking for another hour, until beans are fully cooked.

(Alternately, transfer chili to a slow cooker set on low and cook for at least 6 and up to 8 hours. If using canned beans, add them 20 to 30 minutes before serving.)

When beans are thoroughly cooked, dissolve masa harina in the milk and add to the pot. Cook for an additional 15 minutes on high, and add salt and white pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with sour cream and reserved roasted poblano chile strips.