Chili is always a great winter warmup dish. And, I’ve made so many different variations, from smoked brisket to vegetarian. But, my latest favorite is this green chicken chili. Many traditional versions of this dish use a jarred salsa verde as a key ingredient. I chose to make mine with fresh tomatillos instead. I think they add a really nice flavor. I also roasted the chicken after marinating it in my homemade poultry spice mix. The recipe is below and it’s for more than you’ll need for this dish. Use the remainder for roasting a whole chicken or for grilling. There are serrano peppers in this dish versus more traditional jalapeños. But, feel free to use whichever you prefer (or neither if you don’t want it too spicy). Lastly, it’s great to give guests a lot of options to top their chili, from sour cream, cheese, crispy tortilla strips, and cilantro.
Green Chicken Chili
makes 6-8 servings
2 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 tbl Lil Chic Poultry Spice Mix (recipe below)
1 lg Yellow Onion
1 Lime, sliced
2 tbl Unsalted Butter
1 tbl Liquid Smoke
2 tbl Olive Oil
2 Serrano Peppers, seeded and diced
1 Yellow Pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves Garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
1/2 lb Tomatillos, husked, cleaned and chopped
2 tsp fresh Oregano, chopped
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
6 cu Chicken Broth
1/4 cu Corn Masa
2 cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz size each)
1 1/2 cu Frozen Corn
6 street taco sized Corn Tortillas or 4 regular sized corn tortillas
Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cu Sour Cream
1/2 cu Monterey Jack Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Season the breasts liberally with the poultry spice mixture. If you don’t want to make my full spice mix, simply season the breasts with salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside. Line a baking dish with a piece aluminum foil large enough to seal chicken breasts inside. Peel the onion and cut off two slices from the center. Chop the remainder of the onion and set the chopped onion aside. Place the two onion slices and lime slices on the bottom of the aluminum foil. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the slices. Cut the butter into pieces and place them on the breasts. Pour 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke around the chicken breasts. Fold the foil up and around the breasts and seal it on all sides. Roast the breasts in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Increase oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tortillas in to thin strips and then cut crosswise so they are about 1”-2” long. Spread the strips out on a baking sheet. Roasts strips in the oven for about 15 minutes, tossing at least once, until crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Strips can be stored in a disposable bag until ready to use.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add chopped onions and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add yellow peppers and garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add tomatillos and oregano and stir to combine. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add 5 cups chicken broth and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix the remaining cup of chicken broth with the corn masa. Whisk until smooth and set aside.
While mixture is reaching a boil, remove chicken from the aluminum foil and cut into a medium dice. The chicken my not be full cooked, but that’s ok. It will fully cook in the pot. Once mixture has reached a boil, add chicken, cannellini beans and corn. Bring mixture to a simmer and add corn masa mixture. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
To serve, spoon chili into serving bowls and garnish with sour cream, tortilla strips, cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.
LIL CHICK Poultry Spice Mix
3 1/2 tsp Paprika 1 tsp Black Pepper 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes 1 1/2 tsp Salt 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper 3 1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper 1 1/2 tsp Celery Seed 2 1/2 tsp Basil 2 1/2 tsp Thyme 1 tsp Ground Mustard
Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container.