White Bean Chili

I got this recipe......

.....from Chris. It is really a soup. I always make it on Academy Awards night as it is the best soup for a crowd.  I make it for quick dinners when we are going downtown with another couple and don’t have time for dinner out as traffic in LA has really impacted how we live.  And I just make it when requested…it’s a WOW anytime.

  • 5–6 chicken breasts with bone and skin on
  • Soy sauce
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • ¼ t cayenne pepper
  • 1 package small white beans* or
  • 4 (four) 15-ounce cans Sun Vista brand small white or great northern beans, undrained.
  • 6- 8 cups chicken stock**, either homemade or your favorite super market brand
  • 2 t chicken stock base (use a soft gourmet brand)
  • 1 can diced green chilies—can be hot so watch out
  • 3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • diced green chilies
  • chopped scallions
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • extra grated jack cheese

Rub chicken breasts with soy sauce.   Bake 1 hour at 300°.***  Cool, discard skin, shred (pull apart) with your fingers into delicious looking pieces and set aside.

Sauté chopped onion in oil in a large soup pot. Add cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper, and sauté another few minutes.  This ‘blooms’ the spices.  Do it!!

Add homemade beans or cans of undrained beans, stock, chicken stock base and diced chilies. Bring to boil then simmer. Add shredded chicken and 1 cup shredded cheese. Heat through, 15 to 20 minutes.


Serve garnishes in separate serving bows.  Let guests garnish their bowls individually to taste with sour cream, tomatoes, scallions, grated cheese and extra diced chilies. The tomatoes really pop the flavor. This dish is so good.

*It is very easy to make your own white beans at home, and if you do, you will avoid too much sodium in the canned beans, and you will avoid beans that are hard to digest…

Wash, sort and soak the beans in fresh cold water for 24 hours…yes…24 hours…NOT overnight which does not do the trick…Rinse and cook in the recommended amount of water.  Cook until beans are soft and the liquid is creamy looking.  Do not rinse.  Add the beans with the creamy liquid to your soup.

**Homemade Chicken Stock: Do you have to used homemade stock?  No.  Does it taste better and will everyone love the soup more, and comment, and come back for more and more because they can’t get enough of that good goodness?  Yes.

Auntie Marcie’s Homemade Chicken Stock:

Chicken Stock

****THE BIG SECRET: Use two chickens … don’t want to? Ask the butcher for extra chicken bones and scraps for soup. But two chickens make the best, most perfect stock.

Throw into a stock pot, coarsely chopped:

  • 2 onions – unpeeled, but wash them and MAKE SURE there is no mold between the layers
  • 3 stalks celery and root end
  • 3 carrots
  • Fistful of fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves (a must)
  • ½ turnip
  • ½ rutabaga
  • 1 tomato
  • Add 2 chickens.

“But how do I know how much water to add so it won’t taste watery?”

Just cover with water—do not fill the pot—2 inches higher than contents.  Boil … hard … skim the stuff off the top; then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Take everything out. Place liquid in freezer—yes, do it. When the fat is solid, remove it. Save it! It is very good. You can save the turnips, rutabagas and carrots, and make mashed roots! Throw the other veggies away.

After the chickens have cooled down, you have many choices:

1.  Freeze your stock, with a layer of plastic wrap under the lid, to use in soups like the above recipe.

2. Roast 1 chicken in the oven to crisp up the skin … and serve with the mashed roots from the soup stock.

3. Remove meat from bones, return some to the soup and freeze the rest in small batches for later use in enchiladas or salads.

4. Crisp up the removed skin in oven at 400°—sprinkled with sea salt. So good!

5. Eat the bones … so juicy and good for you, and so much meat gets left on them. Crack them with your teeth, and suck out the marrow. It builds good red blood cells and tastes so good. Eat the gristle—it is full of calcium. Don’t be afraid of all these things. You are missing out on such good goodness.

  1. ***This is a cooking tip. When you taste the succulent flavor of chicken cooked at 300° for an hour you will never make “hairy” chicken again.

“Mom!  This chicken is hairy.”   Hillary said that.

This is just the stock … you can make any style chicken soup from this versatile stock which turns to gel in the fridge.  It is full of goodness from the bones which makes the liquid gel at cold temperatures.