Best White Chili With Chicken

adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried small white (Navy) beans, Great Northern beans, or cannellini beans (or 3 cans)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 fresh poblano chilies
  • 4 fresh Anaheim or Hatch chilies
  • 2 jalapeño chilies
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed, and split in halt from top to bottom
  • 8 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 whole pickled jalapeño pepper, plus 2 tablespoons pickling liquid from the can
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 4 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 pound shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 limes, plus 1 lime cut into wedges for serving
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 4 to 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

If using dried beans: cover beans with 1 gallon (4 quarts) water. Add 1/4 cup salt and stir until dissolved. Cover and let rest at room temperature at least 8 hours and up to 24. Drain and rinse beans.

Adjust broiler rack to 8 inches below broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Place poblanos, Anaheims, jalapeños, onion, and garlic on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Toss with one tablespoon oil using your hands to coat. Season with salt. Place under broiler and broil, turning peppers and rearranging vegetables occasionally, until peppers are blackened on all sides and skins are wrinkled all over, 15 to 20 minutes total. Gather up foil and form a sealed pouch. Let chilies rest for 5 minutes.

Peel chilies, discarding skins and seeds. Transfer chili flesh to the cup of a hand blender or a standing blender. Add broiled onion, broiled garlic, and the canned jalapeño (do not add jalapeño pickling liquid). Blend until a smooth purée is formed. Set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chili purée and cook, stirring, until incorporated. Add chicken stock.

Add soaked beans to pot, adding water as necessary until fully submerged. Simmer broth and beans until beans are fully tender, about 1 hour total. Remove 1 1/2 cups of beans and their liquid and transfer to a standing blender or the work cup of an immersion blender. Blend until completely smooth. Stir back into pot.

Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir back into stew. Stir in half of cheese until melted. Stir in jalapeño pickling liquid, lime juice, and half of cilantro. Season to taste with salt.

Serve immediately with extra shredded cheese, lime wedges, cilantro, and scallions.

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