There are many recipes for White Chili or Chicken Chili out there, most of which taste like chicken soup with a little green pepper thrown in. However, the nature of chicken thighs, with the deep flavor of the meat, and the additional fat and collagen, allows you to use them in the same way you might use pork. This green chili is a play on a classic pork chili verde. It is a bit of a chameleon – if cooked quickly, the flavors are bright, spicy, bracing, while a long slow cook yields a much deeper chicken flavor, softening the heat of the chilis and rounding out the bright herbaceousness.
One of the truly great thing about this dish is the number of ways it can be served. You can ladle it up as a stew or soup, garnished with sour cream, cilantro and cheese. Serve it over a bowl of rice as a spicy one bowl meal. With a stack of good corn tortillas and some white cheese, you can use it as both the filling and sauce for a delicious tray of enchiladas. And pretty much my favorite, you can use it to make chilaquiles by simmering some unsalted corn chips in the sauce, and topping it with cheese, shredded chicken, and a poached egg.
I prefer the short cook for quick dishes like enchiladas, but for a bowl of something special, allow this chili to simmer away for as long as possible.
Chicken ChiliCourse: Bone-In, Breakfast, Mexican, Stew, Stove TopCuisine: Mexican
An easy to prepare green chili that can be used in a number of ways.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers
2 Serrano peppers
½ tsp dried oregano or epazote
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp AP flour
- Poach chicken thighs in 4 cups of stock until tender and falling from the bone (about 30 minutes).
- Remove the chicken, shred the meat, discard the skin and bones, and reserve the stock for the next step.
- Remove the stems from all four chili peppers.
- Add chilies, half of the onion, and the reserved chicken stock to a blender, and blend on high until smooth.
- Using the same pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, and sauté the remaining ½ onion until translucent.
- Add garlic, cumin, oregano, and black pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the flour, and sauté to combine and coat the onion (about 2 minutes on medium heat). The flour should brown only slightly.
- Return the blended stock to the pan, add the shredded chicken and fish sauce, and simmer for 20 minutes to reduce, thicken, and combine.
- The dish can be served at this point or simmered for much longer – up to 4 hours – to really deepen the flavor.
- Serve with chopped cilantro, freshly diced white onion, sour cream, and crumbled Mexican cheese.
- This dish can also be served as the sauce for chilaquiles (see photo). For this preparation, reserve the shredded chicken rather than returning it to the sauce. Simmer stale corn chips in the sauce for a few moments, then top with shredded chicken, dry cheese, sour cream, and cilantro. If you are serving this as a breakfast dish, top with a poached egg.
Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!