White Chicken Chili with Coconut and Lime

Though I’ve heard of white chicken chili, I’d never had it before. It sounded like a good alternative to the tomato based kinds, so I decided to concoct something along these lines for my Chili Night. White chicken chili made me think of tom kha soup, a spicy Thai soup with a coconut lime broth. So instead of researching other recipes to find out what most people considered White Chicken Chili to be, I decided to Americanize tom kah into Tex-Mex. Here’s what I came up with.

White Chicken Chili

  • 1 large chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 4-5 limes juiced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on taste)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can white beans
  • 3/4 c. frozen corn
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Marinate sliced chicken breast in 1/8 – 1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice (2-4 Tbs). Sprinkle with salt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably 2-3.

In a large bowl mix peppers with onions, 1-2 Tbs olive oil and 2 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (not too much) and 1/4 tsp pepper.

On burner, heat cast iron grill over high heat until smoking. Grill vegetables until charred and onions are clear. Remove from heat and set aside.

Grill chicken until just cooked, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place frozen corn on a baking sheet under broiler until charred.

In a soup pot, place chicken with quart of chicken stock, 1 cup of uncooked rice, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until rice is cooked, approx. 30 minutes.

Add coconut milk, white beans, grilled vegetables and corn. Add 1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice and 1 Tbs honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Many guests commented that although they were initially drawn to the lamb chili, the chicken was their favorite. Light and tart, the creamy coconut flavor compliments the acidic lime and a sweetness is brought out of grilled vegetables from the salty chicken base. The white beans and rice qualify this dish for official chili status.

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